Posted On February 12, 2017 by PUSC
With close to fifteen current Placer United Academy players invited to USSF National training centers, the 2016/17 season has been a break out year for Placer United Soccer Club and it’s USSF Academy teams. On the field the boys have played some really good soccer against professional clubs like San Jose Earthquakes and Sac Republic FC, as well as renowned youth soccer clubs De Anza Force, San Diego Surf and La Jolla Nomads, to name a few
“Simply put, if you want to be the best you need to play against the best,” said Placer Academy Coach Paul O Brien. “The boys really look forward to each weekend because they know they will be challenged both physically and mentally in every game.” Across the teams in the 2002, 2003 and 2004 age groups, Placer has played over 58 Academy games so far this season and won 47 of those games. “It’s a great achievement for our club,” O’Brien reflected, “Especially when some of those victories have come against professional club Academy teams.”
“Changes really started about two years ago when we took a good look at our club and realized we needed to make some improvements in certain areas,” explained O’Brien. “We looked first at our approach to Academy soccer. We worked on redefining our Vision and Mission statements, Coaching Philosophy and Style of Play so that it became a lot simpler to teach and articulate to our players and parents what we wanted to do and how we were going to go about doing it. It was also something we wanted everybody involved to be able to see on the field during training and games, beyond the words spoken or written on a powerpoint.” said O’Brien.
“Having the ability to field three academy teams is a real game changer,” added three year Academy coach Kevin Unsworth. “We are now able to create a more challenging environment, one in which our younger players have the opportunity to play on the older Academy teams if we feel it would help in their development, as well as let the existing players know they need to keep working hard to stay on our Academy teams. We are very upfront with the players and parents and let them know this philosophy at the start of the season. We took four 2004’s to the 2003 USSF Academy Showcase in LA. We also have had a few 2003’s play up on the 2002 team and really make an impact in those games.”
O’Brien continued, “After seeing the success of our Academy teams this year, we are ready to start implementing a few more improvements within the club and that’s going to be pretty exciting. Being involved in the Academy system has made me and the other coaches really think differently about our approach to games and training sessions. This is just one of the reasons I like being involved in the USSF Development Academy. Basically, I’m being held accountable by USSF and it doesn’t get any higher than that.”
Take a look at Placer academy boys in action:
Click Here for the Placer Academy Tryouts schedule.