Albion SC Boys 2000 Academy-1
Coach Rick Brown’s Albion SC 2000 Academy-1 team remains a Top-100 team in the nation according to GotSoccer.com and is currently ranked 6th among all teams in Southern California. At the midpoint of their Coast Soccer League Premier Division regular season play, the team is on pace to continue a meteoric rise in the polls as the boys have already knocked off two higher ranked teams, which included a 2016 Cal South National Cup semi-finalist and the #1 ranked team in Southern California. In those two wins, Albion played some its best soccer while amassing five total goals and surrendering none. This team is beginning to turn heads as it has been steadily building upon a very strong resume of noteworthy achievements throughout its quest to be the best. In fact, the 2000 Academy-1 team is now considered a heavy favorite to win the CSL Premier Division regular season title making them an elite western region team and legitimate national title contender.
Their 2016-17 campaign began with an incredibly productive summer immediately following one of the most challenging team selection processes experienced at Albion, which included US Soccer’s birth year mandate realignment. Most notably, Albion SC 2000 Academy-1 captured the 2016 United Cup title coming off a narrow defeat in the 2016 Surf Cup final. Brown’s team also finished as a semi-finalist in the US Club Soccer National Cup Western Regional held in Davis, CA in May, which included an earlier round win against the eventual champion. Over the past six months, Brown’s team has consistently emerged at the top-of-the-table in group play in nearly every major tournament entered, which enabled advancement and placement opportunities reflected in its record.
Coach Brown’s players have also distinguished themselves both on and off the field in their respective schools and within the many communities they represent throughout the greater San Diego area. Despite the demands that accompany their commitment to Brown’s high-performance team, a majority of these players have earned academic distinction and carry 4.0+ GPAs, have become leaders on their respective high school teams, are involved in a variety of volunteer and extracurricular activities or hold part-time employment. Each of these highly talented players has ambitions of attending college and playing collegiate soccer.
What has been a rather impressive aspect of this gifted group is the depth of Coach Brown’s entire roster. On any given day, any player on this squad is inherently capable of making a game-changing play, such as a desperately needed game-winning goal or a critical defensive stop with a game on the line. Albion SC’s Technical Director, Noah Gins, and Coach Brown have found a formula with this particular group that combines size, speed of play, on-field intelligence, and grit throughout an incredibly deep lineup that makes the collective much stronger than the sum of its individual parts. Every player has a genuine love of the game, a healthy respect for those who play and coach it, an appreciation for their supportive families and loyal followers, and an unrivaled spirit of teamwork and cooperation with one another. Their off-field friendships with one another have been a critical ingredient of their on-field successes.
All Brown’s players desperately wanted to be an integral part of this special group and to expand their opportunities through Albion’s national recognition and robust college placement program, which has facilitated landing hundreds of players in top college programs across the county. These boys are extremely proud to wear Albion’s colors and to serve as young ambassadors of the club brand. The team is composed of a majority of players that have been brought up through the development ranks within Albion SC as well as a few players that migrated from dissolving neighboring club teams. In fact, all but two roster positions for the flagship team of Albion’s 2000 age group are occupied by players representing three different Albion teams from a year ago. The core group of 12 players around which Albion’s Academy-1 team was formed was the same that won Coast Soccer League’s U16 Gold Division a year ago and reached the quarterfinals of the 2016 Cal South National Cup championship under former Albion coach Nick Surface, and several players also have CSL Premier and California Regional League experience under their belts.
With that pedigree and under Coach Brown’s leadership, this Albion Academy-1 team has set its sights on retention of its hard-fought CSL Premier League status and a top-of-the-table finish in regular season competition. These players also possess longer term goals of competing in a national championship and bringing Albion its 4th national title in the club’s 36-year history.
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