WNT Aug 9, 2011
Albertin Montoya has been named head coach of the U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team. The former FC Gold Pride head coach that won the 2010 WPS title and a long-time youth coach will lead the team into CONCACAF Qualifying for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, which will be held from Sept. 22-Oct. 13 in Azerbaijan. As a youth player himself, Montoya played in the first FIFA U-17 World Cup in 1991.
Montoya will work under the guidance of U.S. Soccer Women's Development Director Jill Ellis. When U.S. Soccer Women's Technical Director April Heinrichs and Ellis were hired in January of this year, the goal was to eventually install head coaches for the U-20s and U-17s to run the day-to-day operations for both age groups. This structure will allow Heinrichs and Ellis to focus on the many administrative, scouting and coaching education aspects of their positions while continuing to develop positive relationships with the American youth soccer community.
“This is an exciting time in the girls’ and women’s games here in the U.S.,” said Heinrichs. “We’re clearly still one of the best teams in the world and we have room for improvement. This year’s Women’s World Cup showed us that countries are developing quickly and raising the level of the women’s game around the world. In order for us to continue to be one of the top teams at every level, we must work together for the betterment of our players and teams. In that vein, I’m excited to bring Steve Swanson and Albertin Montoya into our youth national team staff as they are both very talented coaches with the personality and vision to help accomplish these goals.”
Montoya, who is the director of coaching for the youth club MVLA (Mountain View, Los Altos, Calif.) will also stay in that position while guiding the U-17s. Montoya’s coaching experience includes working with players as young as seven up to the two seasons he spent as head coach of FC Gold Pride in Women’s Professional Soccer. He guided the star-studded squad to a regular season title and league championship in 2010.
“It has been a dream of mine to be involved with U.S. Soccer since I was a young player myself,” said Montoya, who played for the USA in the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Italy in 1991. “My goal growing up was to play in a youth World Cup and that experience meant a lot to me. The experiences I had with our youth national teams helped me become a much better person and coach and to be able to give back to the Federation that gave so much to me is a privilege. I want to make a difference in these kids’ lives like my coaches did for me and now that I have this opportunity, I am very grateful for it.”
Montoya is one of the country’s most respected youth girls’ coaches and is known for developing teams and players with high technical and tactical levels. He was a first-round draft choice of the San Jose Clash in Major League Soccer in 1998 before suffering a career-ending knee injury. He has coached with the women’s programs at both Santa Clara and Stanford University and for years was co-head coach of the Sacramento Storm, one of the top women’s amateur sides in the country.
“I am thrilled to bring Albertin aboard to coach our U-17 women,” said Ellis. “He will be an important piece of our vision to have our players evolve technically and develop into players who can compete for our full women’s national team. He has worked with players at every level and his teams have always placed a high emphasis on sharing the ball. He has an exceptional rapport with players and his personal qualities make him an excellent coach to influence the growth of our younger players on and off the field.”