When you look at the numbers over the last three years, you see that FC Alliance has sent more kids to college and put more teams into state finals than all of the other clubs in East Tennessee combined. The general assumption is that most of the success involves FC Alliance Black teams. So then… who is second? Who puts the next highest number into college soccer? The answer: FC Alliance Red and Gold. Amazingly, FC Alliance Red and Gold teams have put more kids into college soccer than any other club in East Tennessee has with all their players combined.
Going into “recruiting season”, FC Alliance often deals with other clubs in hot pursuit of Red and Gold players. For these clubs, adding a Red or Gold player upgrades their roster. The common selling point is “why play for a Red or Gold team when you can play on our top team?” The truth is that playing for FC Alliance Red or Gold carries more weight with college coaches than playing for most teams in other clubs. Evidence of this can be seen with Coach Chad Stocton’s 95 Girls Red. The team had nine players sign college scholarships. That number alone is greater than most other clubs in East Tennessee had with all their players put together.
"You want to get on the best team with the best coach," pointed out Academy Director Darrick Lubell. "Our club has been blessed with an unrivaled coaching staff. We have Red teams who compete with our Black teams to be the strongest in the area. We have Gold teams winning tournaments, including the state tournament."
So what makes FC Alliance so different?
"We have a curriculum which is designed to develop the complete soccer player," explained Lubell. "We know exactly what a player needs at every age to one day be able to play at the next level. We’ve had so many players move on to college soccer these last three years- over 100- that we’ve got it down to a science. All we need is a kid to show up with a ball and a passion for the game. We’ll take care of it from there."
The FC Alliance curriculum has been molded slowly over time. Each week, coaches receive detailed training plans and take part in a conference call to go over each week’s goals and refine the previous week’s curriculum. All coaches have flexibility, but the core concepts and base exercises are the same.
"We want coaches to coach to their strengths and use their own personalities in the way they teach players," explained Director of Player Development Filip Leander. "However, by having a core model to follow, it guarantees every player that they are receiving the same training that all those kids who moved on to college soccer received."
"Our plan is a proven one," said FC Alliance Director of Operations Jon Schneider. "We know if a coach implements it, his or her team will flourish. The numbers speak for themselves."
The quality of FC Alliance teams naturally draws a long list of coaching applicants every year around tryouts. This year is no different.
“We get a lot of coaches applying, both local guys from other clubs and people from out of the area,” said Director of Coaching Josh Gray. “It is surprising who wants to be a part of the club; however, we can be very selective with the amount of options we have. We finally have the luxury of being picky. For Black, Red and Gold teams we can assign the top coaches in the area. This is why we’ve been so successful. We’ve got coaches on our Red and Gold teams who are good enough to coach anywhere.”