Category Archives: News

Placer United Players Earn High School All-League Honors

Placer United congratulates twenty-one girls and twenty-eight boys who received honors from their respective high schools. Here are the players who received 1st Team All-League Honors for the 2023-2024 season:

Sierra Foothill League (SFL)

Del Oro High School – Kiana Faucette, Beckham Pointer (League MVP), Ayden Scammacca, Izzy Scott, Brooklyn Tanon, James Tibbetts, Logan Webster

Folsom High School – Hunter Wexler

Granite Bay High School – Connor Johnson, Molly Newlin, Camryn Savig

Oakridge High School – Drew Hatch, Samantha Liaty, Olivia Marsh, Savannah Miller

Rocklin High School – Gia Costanzo,  Carter Haynes, Jovan Petrovich, Shannon Proubski, Jovan Radovich

Whitney High School – Pierce LaVine, Everett Shanklin, Nick Sprinsteel, Gabby Starr, Jake Tyberg

Capital Athletic League (CAL)

Vista Del Lago High SchoolAiden Galvan (League Defensive MVP), Taylor Grover

Capital Valley Conference (CVC)

Roseville High School – Ty Branigan, James Crawford (HS Offensive Player of the Year), Kaiden Pedone, Peyton Rocholz

Woodcreek High School – Ty Branigan, Vince Noble (League MVP)

Central California Athletic League (CCAL)

Thomas Downey High School (Modesto) – Caroline Souza

Delta League

Elk Grove High SchoolJack Gerber (All Sportsmanship Award, Scholar Athlete Award)

Jesuit High School – Renner Smiley

Foothill Valley League (FVL)

Placer High School – Ella Atherton-Turner

West Park High School – Olivia Sisto, Cade Vickers

Golden Empire League (GEL)

Casa Roble High SchoolMia Alvarez-Tostado (League Defensive Player of the Year)

Pioneer Valley League (PVL)

Center High School – Daniel Sanchez

Golden Sierra High SchoolCarter Brust (League Offensive MVP, HS Team MVP)

Lindhurst High SchoolJared Oseguera (Golden Glove Award, Scholar Athlete Award)

Twelve Bridges High SchoolKelsey Kurland (League Co-MVP Award), Chloe Van Winkle, Josie Young

Wheatland High School – Julissa Lopez, Nolan Mierzwa (Scholar Athlete Award, HS Defensive MVP), Hiroshi Yang (League MVP)

It was a complicated process to track and compile this list. If we missed anyone named a 1st team all-conference player for the 2023-2024 season, please let us know, and we will add you.

Congrats to all of our fantastic student-athletes on a great high school soccer season!

Placer United Placer United Announces New Technical Directors for U8-U12 Players

Placer United is pleased to announce two new staff positions for the U8-U12 programs (7v7 and 9v9). Join us in welcoming Martin Johnson and Bryan “BJ ” Glass as technical directors who will be valuable assets in assisting our coaches and players in reaching their technical potential and prepare them for 11v11 soccer. The goals for these positions are to help make our younger players technical wizards with the ball and gain an understanding of smaller-sided tactical decisions within the game. Additionally, the technical directors will support coaches in the younger-age teams and ensure they are armed with everything they need to succeed.

Martin Johnson, Technical Director – Boys U8-U12

Since joining the Club in 2020, Martin has quickly demonstrated his ability to create fun and dynamic sessions to maximize our younger players’ development. 

“Martin’s calm demeanor and attention to the technical details we value so highly at the Club make him the perfect candidate to oversee both coaches and players in the discovery phase and into the skill-acquisition phase of our player development model,” said Kevin Unsworth, Boys Director of Coaching.

Bryan “BJ” Glass, Technical Director – Girls U8-U12

After a 10-year youth playing career with Placer United, Coach BJ returned to the Club in 2012 as a staff coach and has been in this role for 11 years. Throughout his coaching career, Coach BJ has worked with our club teams at all levels and coaches at the high school and junior college levels.

“Coach BJ has proven that he is passionate about the game, continuing to advance his coaching education and his dedication to the development of our Placer United players,” said Ron Benjamin, Girls Director of Coaching.

Placer United focuses on the quality and dedication of our coaching staff. This is a well-deserved promotion for Coach Martin and Coach BJ as they look to better themselves as a coach/director and mentor to others.

Twenty-Seven Placer United Girls Earned 1st Team All-League Honors

Placer United is well-represented amongst the various high school leagues in the greater Sacramento region. Placer United boasts twenty-seven girls who earned 1st Team All-League honors for the 2022-2023 season:  

Bella Vista – Ayla Hardenburgh

Casa Roble – Lauren Romumowicz

Colfax – Chey Ackerman

Del Oro – Kiana Faucette, Izzy Scott

Oakmont – Hannah Andreasen

Oakridge – Samantha Liaty, Savanah Miller

Placer – Meghan Bennion

Ponderosa – Brooklyn Hayes

Rocklin – Shannon Porubski, Haley Simmons, Caitlin Winter

Rosemont – Andrea Hernandez

Roseville – Gwen Forman, Hailee Jones

Thomas Downey (Modesto) – Caroline Souza

Turlock – Jenna Dean

Twelve Bridges – Kelsey Bartlett, Kelsey Kurland, Stella-Grace Tamayo, Chloe Van Winkle, Josie Young

Vista Del Lago – Makena Gradek, Taylor Grover

Whitney – Gabby Starr

Woodcreek – Lexi Schroeder

It was a complicated process to track and compile this list. If we missed anyone named a 1st team all-conference female player for the 2022-2023 season, please let us know, and we will add you.

Congrats to all on a great high school soccer season!

Four Placer United Alumna to Play in the Division 1 NCAA Women’s College Cup Soccer Championships

The 2022 Division 1 Women’s College Cup Soccer Championships begin on Friday, and Placer United boasts four alumna who will be competing in the event. In the first round, ’03 Kellie Pagador and the #3 seed Stanford Cardinals will take on the San Jose State Spartans. ’03 Kalia Uehara of Jackson State University will face #1 seed Alabama. ’99 Mackenzie George and the #6 seed Tennessee Volunteers face off against Xavier. Lastly, ’00 Abena Aidoo and Vanderbilt take on the #5 seed Clemson Tigers.

Official Bracket

We are very proud of you ladies, and wish you the best of luck!

Go Placer!

Placer Alum and Brothers Ben & Jake Sieber Thriving at Trevecca Nazarene University in Tennessee

NASHVILLE – The Trevecca Nazarene University men’s soccer team (1-0-0) opened the season with a 2-0 shutout of the visiting University of Alabama in Huntsville Chargers (0-1-0) on Thursday at the Trojan Soccer Complex.

 The Trojans took the lead in the 35th minute on a Marlon Grossmann goal, his first career goal for the Trojans and the first of the season for the Purple and White. Michael Martey played the ball to Grossman near the mouth of the goal for his first assist of the year.   

 The Trojans and Grossmann found the back of the net quickly as the second half started, Grossmann scored in the 48th minute. It was Ben Sieber on the assist, his first career assist.

Neither team could get on the scoreboard for the rest of the match. 

Giancarlo Martinez tallied one save while playing the full 90 in goal for the Chargers.

The Chargers held the edge in shots on goal against TNU by a 9-4 margin. UAH generated seven corner kicks to the Trojans’ four, but Trevecca collected a total of 17 shots and finished twice for the win.

The Trojans head to Jackson, Tenn. on Wednesday when they face the Bulldogs of Union University at 7:30 PM.

Visit the Official Home of Trevecca Athletics at


Kevin Unsworth, Boys DOC, Attends Argentina Coaching Education Trip

BUENOS AIRES — For the first time in nearly three years, NorCal Premier Soccer sent more than 30 coaches abroad to learn from some of the best clubs in the world in order to bring back valuable lessons to Northern California.

NorCal Premier Soccer believes that better coaches make better players which is why the organization’s leadership worked in conjunction with the Argentine Technicians Football Association and Premier International Tours to schedule a 10-day program designed to improve the practices of nearly three dozen NorCal leaders.

Following the trip the coaches, mostly made up of club directors throughout the state, will pass along what they’ve learned to players and other coaches to raise the level of the game locally.

After a long day of traveling, the NorCal contingent arrived in Buenos Aires Friday and immediately began the course with a lecture from Juan Cruz Anselmi, a youth development expert who has worked with famous Argentine clubs Independiente, San Lorenzo, and Newell’s Old Boys as well as for the AFA and CONMEBOL.

Anselmi’s three-hour presentation and discussion focused on early development from ages 6-13 and how much of an impact those crucial years can have on a player especially when it comes to the thousands of decisions they must make each game.

“We talk a lot about decision making when players have the ball but over here in Argentina, they’re referring to the decision that is made first before you get the ball when you’re scanning and you’re anticipating what’s going to happen,” said PDP Assistant Director Justin Selander. “And then as the ball is coming to you, you’re thinking of your decision and then once you receive the ball there’s a different process of how you make that decision. Then once you receive the ball there’s even another decision to be made when you feel pressure. It was fascinating to learn more about the pieces of how you make decisions before you have the ball when a lot of our decision making is when we do have the ball.”

The longtime youth coach then gave a detailed explanation on how to work well in those formative years, going over a seven step process while stressing the need for trainers to formulate their lessons to the individual child based on their socio-cultural background and personality traits.

“If you don’t work really well in these formative years, it will be tough to fully develop a player,” Anselmi said.

This idea came from early in Anselmi’s coaching career when he tried to directly replicate a model from another country but found it ineffective with Argentine players.

“(The kids) are players before they’re athletes,” Anselmi said. “The game needs to be adapted to fit the player, not the other way around.”

After a much-needed full night of sleep, the coaches went back to work Saturday morning where they bussed just outside of Buenos Aires proper to visit the training center of Independiente, the most successful club in the history of the Copa Libertadores.

There, the NorCal visitors were allowed to observe three youth team games as the capital city side faced fellow Primera Division club Sarmiento before first team staff members Maximiliano Sa and Santiago Rodriguez and club legend Francisco Sa explained the vision and goals for Independiente.

The trio provided detailed information on the periodization process for the entire year of trainings while laying out the club’s core philosophy, namely to always think forward both on and off the field.

According to Independiente, there are many desirable qualities in players with intelligence counting as the hardest to develop, but the most important for the club that produced Sergio Aguero will always be passion.

Independiente tries to foster this passion among their youth, many who grow up in the poorer areas of the city and can’t even afford bus fare to practice, which is why they choose to encourage their players to develop decision making skills in a calm and compassionate way. Here if a team is struggling in training, the coach will call them aside and ask what they can do to fix the issues. Only if the team continues to struggle will the coaches provide suggestions.

“Independiente talked about their rich history and are very proud of their accomplishments, not only in winning championships, but developing players and taking care of them in their youth,” said Placer United Boys Director of Coaching Kevin Unsworth. “I was really impressed by their openness to share information with us in addition to giving us full access to their facilities.”

Saturday night brought the much-anticipated first Argentine Primera Division game of the trip where the group of more than 30 traveled to the south side of Buenos Aires to watch Huracan defeat Newell’s Old Boys 1-0 in a match full of physicality and passion.

“The players played at such an intense speed and were always looking to go forward,” Selander said. “There were lots of intense battles, you’ve gotta be able to play with a lot of nicks and bruises here. The crowd is so connected with the fans and team, it doesn’t really seem like they’re ever really negative with them, they’re constantly trying to connect with them and show their love and support.”

“Seeing this shows me how we need the consistency in training of being intense in our actions and the intensity of sessions when players are in the moment of the action in practice, they have to be going 100 percent or more,” he added. “We have to figure out how mentally we can get them to always give their best.”

The following day, NorCal coaches took the time to learn a little more about Buenos Aires and perhaps its most famous club, Boca Juniors. The group toured the city’s La Boca neighborhood, visited the club museum, and ended the day with a Primera match between Defensa y Justica and Boca Juniors.

Finally, the coaches ended their short time in Buenos Aires by watching youth and first team trainings at Lanus before listening to a lecture from the club’s staff.

For those in attendance, it was an opportunity to experience the game at its more humble stage as the Lanus complex lies in an area surrounded by homes that are barred up and fenced for the protection of their owners. NorCal’s tour guide likened the experience of those growing up here to living in jail where the people were prisoners rather than criminals and one of the few ways to escape this metaphorical prison was through soccer. Perhaps this is why, as many noted, the Argentine players fight for every loose ball and through every challenge with a ferocity not often seen elsewhere.

“Both club visits were fun and interesting experiences,” Unsworth said. “What really stood out was their sense of community and culture. Overall I’m really happy to be here and looking forward to seeing what else the trip has in store for us.”

After Lanus, it was onto Rosario where NorCal’s trip begins Monday night after a drive through the Argentine countryside.


ECNL Girls Announces Inaugural ECNL All-Regional League Teams

RICHMOND, Va. (August 18, 2022) – After an extraordinary 2021-22 season that saw the ECNL Girls Regional League crown the inaugural ECNL Regional League Champions in Seattle, the league is excited to announce the first ever ECNL All-Regional League teams.

“These players have not only excelled as individuals in their performances on the field but have helped their teams qualify for the postseason championship events and the 2022 Regional League Finals in Seattle,” said ECNL Girls Commissioner Ralph Richards. “Congratulations to the players for their dedication, commitment, and years of hard work to earn this honor. We are excited to see what these fantastic young ladies will do in the future in the regional league, in college, and beyond.”

Honorees were selected by conference awards committees with technical representatives from every club in each of the 13 ECNL Girls Regional Leagues. A total of 20 players across all four age groups were selected from each league.

The following Placer United players made the All-Regional League Team for NorCal:

  • Kiana Faucette
  • Samantha Liaty
  • Lucy Newlin
  • Angela Shannon
  • Stella Grace Tamayo

ECNL All-Regional League – NorCal – Click here for full team


About the ECNL:
The ECNL is the nation’s leading youth soccer development platform. The ECNL respects and celebrates the unique individuality of every youth soccer player and club, supporting and enabling them to unleash their unfettered passion and fierce tenacity in striving to achieve their potential.

The ECNL mission to Raise the Game is a total commitment to create the best possible environment for players, coaches, referees and administrators, with a determination to constantly question convention and challenge the status quo in youth sports.

The ECNL Commitment:
We will lead, set our eyes on new horizons, and pursue them relentlessly. Born out of the belief in a better way. Continued in the ever-evolving pursuit of excellence.


ECNL Girls Launches Northern Cal Conference, Welcomes Two New Clubs

ECNL Contact: Jacob Born; 314-440-0644
Press Contact: Erica Bates; 917-559-4984

RICHMOND, Va. (April 25, 2022) – Today ECNL Girls announced a conference realignment in the west to create the new Northern Cal Conference, a brand-new conference for 10 clubs to kick off in the 2022-23 season. The Northern Cal Conference will be the home for eight northern California clubs currently playing in the Northwest Conference: Davis Legacy, De Anza Force, Marin FC, Mustang SC, MVLA, Pleasanton Rage, San Juan SC and Santa Rosa United.

In addition, the Northern Cal will welcome Bay Area Surf and Placer United as new clubs into the ECNL Girls for the 2022-23 season, rewarding both clubs’ performances in the ECNL Regional League – NorCal this year.

“We are thrilled to be welcoming Bay Area Surf and Placer United to the ECNL Girls platform for the 2022-23 season and the creation of the Northern Cal Conference,” said Jen Winnagle,

ECNL COO and Girls Commissioner. “This new conference will provide fantastic games with much-reduced travel for all teams, allowing an even better experience for players to develop to their full potential. The creation of a new conference recognizes the depth of talent in the region, and the addition of Bay Area Surf and Placer United increases the competition level across the board.”

Bay Area Surf
Sunnyvale, CA

  • Founded in 2017; joined the Surf brand in 2021
  • More than 35 club graduates playing collegiate soccer
  • Multiple players in various USYNT pools from U15-U19

“Bay Area Surf is extremely excited to be invited as a new member club in Girls ECNL,” said Heath Piper, Executive Academy Director. “Our goal has always been to look for the best competition for our program locally and nationally. The ECNL platform has proven over the years to be the top girls league in the country and it’s an honor for our program to have been selected to represent the ECNL brand. We look forward to the competition and the opportunities for our players to showcase their talent at the highest level each week. We know that this will only further enhance their opportunities collegiately and beyond.”

Placer United
Rocklin, CA

  • Founded: 1982
  • Placer United Indoor Training Facility is the largest indoor training facility for youth soccer in the Sacramento area
  • More than 400 alumni playing collegiate soccer since 2010

“We are absolutely delighted to be accepted into the ECNL Girls platform,” said Ron Benjamin, Director of Coaching. “This acceptance is a reward for years upon years of hard work and dedication, trying to make our club one of the prominent youth soccer organizations in northern California. We look forward to playing in the ECNL competition and enhancing our college recruitment process and opening up even more avenues for our female athletes.”


About the ECNL
The ECNL is the nation’s leading youth soccer development platform. The ECNL respects and celebrates the unique individuality of every youth soccer player and club, supporting and enabling them to unleash their unfettered passion and fierce tenacity in striving to achieve their potential.

The ECNL’s mission to Raise the Game is a total commitment to create the best possible environment for players, coaches, referees and administrators, with a determination to constantly question convention and challenge the status quo in youth sports.

The ECNL Commitment
We will lead, set our eyes on new horizons, and pursue them relentlessly. Born out of the belief in a better way. Continued in the ever-evolving pursuit of excellence.

Girls FB: /ECNLGirls | Girls IG: @ECNLGirls | Girls TW: @ECNLGirls

Los Angeles FC Acquires Defender Ryan Hollingshead from Dallas FC

Thursday, February 10, 2022
by LAFC Communications

LAFC today announced the Club has acquired defender Ryan Hollingshead from FC Dallas in exchange for defender Marco Farfan.

Hollingshead, 30, joins LAFC after spending the past eight seasons with FC Dallas, where he made 193 regular season appearances in 149 starts. A veteran defender, Hollingshead has scored a total of 18 regular season goals and added 15 assists in 13,433 MLS minutes. The California native has made 11 MLS Cup Playoff appearances and played six times in the Concacaf Champions League.

“Ryan is known not only known as one of the most versatile and valuable players in MLS but also as a great person and leader,” LAFC Co-President & General Manager John Thorrington said. “For these reasons, we are incredibly excited to welcome Ryan, his wife Taylor, and their family to LAFC. We also appreciate what Marco has meant to the club during his time here, which makes the moment bittersweet for us. He is a class act both on and off the field and we wish him all the best in Dallas.”

The 2017 MLS Works Humanitarian of the Year, Hollingshead was originally drafted by FC Dallas in the second round of the 2013 MLS Super Draft and made his MLS and professional debut vs. San Jose on May 31, 2014.

In 2016, Hollingshead made 29 regular season appearances (22 starts) and helped Dallas earn the 2016 Supporter’s Shield and a Western Conference Championship, as well as the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title.

A native of Granite Bay, CA, Hollingshead starred at UCLA from 2009-2012, where he made 69 starts and 81 appearances, scoring 16 goals and recording 21 assists. With the Bruins he was named NSCAA Second-Team All American Selection, Pac-12 Player of the Year and First-team All-Pac 12 Selection, while also earning First-team Pac-12 All-Academic honors.

Farfan leaves LAFC after one season in which he played in 29 matches (21 starts), tallying over 1,754 minutes in 2021.


Name: Ryan Hollingshead
Position: Defender
Born: 4/16/1991
Age: 30
Height: 6-2
Weight: 185
Birthplace: Granite Bay, Ca
Citizenship: USA
Last Club: FC Dallas