Choosing a competitive soccer club for your child can be a daunting task. There are multiple options and all of them sound very good. Clubs tout the best coaching, the best teams, the best curriculum, a focus on player development, and anything else that makes playing for them seem like the only logical choice. All of the clubs pitch family and growing your child as both a person and as an athlete. All of the clubs offer a place for every level of soccer. So with everyone offering up the same sales pitch, how do you make a decision? Everyone seems nice and accommodating; everyone seems to have great intentions (and they do). In the complex world of youth soccer, we offer FIVE great reasons to choose FC Alliance.
We can make promises all day long about what we are going to do if you join our club. However, we choose to point out what we have already done. Since 2010, FC Alliance has sent over 150 players to college soccer. The list includes Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Texas, Pittsburgh, and many other major colleges throughout the United States. Our coaching staff boasts former players at schools such as Notre Dame, Florida, Alabama, Ole Miss, and a long list of NCAA and NAIA programs. Seven FC Alliance players have represented the United States internationally in the Olympic Development Program. Five players have earned high school All-American Honors. A long list of players has earned All-District, All-Region and All-State honors. In the last four years, four FC Alliance players have become Lady Vols. In the last two years, five players have joined East Tennessee State’s vaunted men’s team.
On the field, where all the excitement is, FC Alliance has won 26 state championships since 2009. In that time, the club has also recorded 16 Region Premier League championships. Last year, our 97 Girls Black became the first team in the history of East Tennessee to advance to the Regional Finals. Statistically, if you add up the accomplishments of the rest of the clubs in East Tennessee combined, they do not equal those of FC Alliance over the last five years. Every club has good athletes. The challenge is developing them.
The FC Alliance staff is held to extremely high standards and is held accountable for player development throughout each season. Our excellent group of dedicated coaches works hard to improve their teams, players, and themselves. Not everyone is cut out to work for FC Alliance and that doesn’t mean they are not good coaches. However, our club looks for a different breed of leaders and educators. Specifically, we bring in people with a true passion for the game, with great character, and most importantly: people who aren’t afraid to grow and improve. An ideal FC Alliance coach doesn’t fear oversight and accountability. He or she says, “Bring it.” Our motto is that even the best can get better, so never stop refining what you do. Last year, FC Alliance coach Jonathan Thompson was named the state’s competitive Coach of the Year after his team won the Division 1 state championship. Just three years ago, Coach Thompson was an apprentice at the Division1 level. After working closely with directors, he has earned the state’s ultimate honor. This year, former FC Alliance coach Paulo Neto became the head coach of the Knoxville Force. Many other coaches have worked their way up in our club through committed coach development. Several of our coaches are very successful high school coaches, including Mike MacLean (Hardin Valley), Steve Feather (Maryville) and Josh Van Pelt (Powell). Our coaches also must love working with children and young people. Several months ago, Carrie Ollom was named TopSoccer Coach of the Year in Tennessee for her work with children with special needs. Coach Ollom is also a state championship-winning coach on the competitive side. She exemplifies our staff.
Success at All Levels
It isn’t just the top teams at FC Alliance experiencing high levels of success. The club has won numerous Division 2 and Division 3 state championships, as well as fielding numerous Division 1 teams in the same age group. This year, 32 senior girls signed with colleges. All but one- and it is by player choice- from the 96 Girls Black 1 and 96 Girls Black 2 are playing NCAA or NAIA soccer next year. One year ago, nine players on 95 Girls Red signed with colleges to continue their playing careers at the next level. Numerous teams- Black, Red and Gold- have won multiple tournaments around the state and region. This ranges from U8-U18. With all players using the same curriculum, everyone is guaranteed to receive the same opportunities to succeed.
Curriculum- “Our Blueprint for Achievement”
It simply works. The FC Alliance curriculum is constantly evolving and developing, but the root fundamental philosophies have never changed. The result has been a lot of successful players and teams. The term “curriculum” has only recently become a buzz word in the community, but FC Alliance has worked off a base curriculum since the inception of our club. Every week, coaches participate in a conference call with club directors to focus on what is being taught and how. The curriculum isn’t just set by a few; it is a team effort by the entire staff. Coaches are constantly molding and refining ways to better coach each part of the curriculum. Everyone contributes and everyone impacts the way FC Alliance players learn and develop. The club balances the “don’t fix what isn’t broken” philosophy with “we must continue to evolve as the sport itself does”. FC Alliance doesn’t believe in the library system (where a coach “checks” a team out and then returns it a year later). Some coaches want total autonomy from their club and we respect that. However, we believe everyone should be on the same page and do the same proven things to achieve success. That’s teamwork.
Regional and National Prestige
Around the state and region, FC Alliance has become a model for club development in a moderate-size metro area. With the amount of success the club has had on numerous fronts, many clubs from around the country have modeled themselves after us. We are in constant communication with other organizations striving to achieve similar results. Competing with clubs drawing from metro areas with millions of people is difficult, but our club has our foot in the door and others are following suit. Playing for FC Alliance carries a tremendous amount of weight outside the city of Knoxville. College coaches, in particular, know that FC Alliance players will be skillful and have an advanced understanding of the game. In our annual College Showcases, the sidelines are packed with coaches from around the country.
FC Alliance is the PROVEN choice for all soccer players!