Noah Gins on US Soccer Girls’ Development Academy
Youth Soccer News: U.S. Soccer has built and is launching in the Fall of 2017 a national Development Academy program for developing girls. 74 Clubs in six regional divisions are participating in this program and the goal is to accelerate the development of world-class female players.
The mission is to provide real opportunities for girls to develop and to play in meaningful games, a variety of competition — and to stop the cycle of constant and often meaningless competition. The USA is facing a real challenge – as the reigning powerhouse in women’s soccer, we must prepare for the future. U.S. Soccer is proving the pathway and the tools to pave the journey — with the hope of real success.
San Diego’s Albion Soccer Club is one of the few youth soccer clubs selected to participate in the US Soccer’s Development Academy for Girls. GoalNation’s Diane Scavuzzo spoke with Albion Soccer Club‘s Executive Director Noah Gins on the benefits of the US Soccer Girls’ Development Academy and the opportunity to continue to grow youth soccer. Gins has just returned from a series of meetings and training sessions with U.S. Soccer and was deeply impressed.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the new direction of girls soccer in America?
Noah Gins: The U.S. Women’s National Team defeated Japan 5-2 and became the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion. We are the first, three-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winner. We want to stay on top.
U.S. Soccer has created the USSF Development Academy to develop the next generation of world class soccer players. They have selected very few clubs to work hand-in-hand with the US Federation to develop these players. We are honored to be included.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why do we need this change?
Noah Gins: The changes are needed to develop technically better players, more refined players, and players that are on par with the rest of the world.
It is time to develop our players with more attention and more professionalism and with a focus on development, not the results.
The world has caught up with the technical aspects of the game and — in many cases –pushed past the US.
Diane Scavuzzo: How will this change benefit today’s young girl players?
Noah Gins: Players going forward will benefit from the focused training environment, the new attention to professionalism, and the exposure they will receive.
Now, young girls will really be able to dream big and dream of playing on the U.S. National Team with a true pathway to get there.
Diane Scavuzzo: To be able to compete internationally, we need to dream big. Do girls dream big enough?
Noah Gins: At the current state of soccer in this country …
I don’t think young girls dream big enough and those times are going to change.
Girls will now be given the pathway, the opportunity to dream of representing their country and beyond. The system is going to cater to dream and will allow for players to truly see these opportunities within arms reach.
Diane Scavuzzo: What insights did Jill Ellis share? What impressed you most?
Noah Gins: Jill Ellis is so connected as a Senior National Team Coach. Having coached club soccer, college Soccer and now at the U.S. National Team head coach, she understands the needs at each level.
Jill is very impressive in her knowledge of game, her overall approach to the game and desire to set the standard from the top with it reaching all the way down to the youth level.
Diane Scavuzzo: This change happens on the field — and in the minds of young players — how will you implement this at Albion SC?
Noah Gins: Albion SC will create the most professional environment with the most qualified coaching staff and create an every day training plan that really progresses and speeds up the development process for the players. We intend to progress our players to the U.S. National Team as one of our main objectives inside the DA.
Diane Scavuzzo: From your perspective — What is the difference between the new Girls DA and ECNL?
Noah Gins: The difference is we are able to work directly with the U.S. Soccer Federation with the goal to develop World Class Players. This is a big difference between the Girls DA and the ECNL, as well as standards that exist in the DA do not exist in any league in the country.
The DA requires structure and elements that develop soccer players at the highest level.
Now the results on the field or the need to chase results are no longer of importance.
Diane Scavuzzo: How will Albion SC be selecting players for the new Girls DA?
Noah Gins: We will be looking for qualities in players that give us clear examples of dominance. It could be physical, technical, tactical or mentally.
We will look at players that are dominant in their positions, we will look at players with potential, and ultimately we have to have serious soccer players that want to commit to training 10 months of the year and dream of playing on the US National Team.
Diane Scavuzzo: Is professional women’s soccer growing stronger with the NWSL?
Noah Gins: The NWSL pro league is gaining momentum and the USSF Girls DA’s focus will help the Women’s Game become even more relevant and prosper.