Carine Ireland, Director of Girls Coaching & General Manager
"My daughter joined Union under difficult circumstances. Her Class 3, quasi competitive team had folded and as a last ditch effort their former coaches offered the team up for Union PSV to take over. A dozen or so players came over…..this is where the clarity in my daughters soccer future began. Carine made it immediately clear that only players who are willing to give the full effort will receive full attention. In the course of a month things shook out: the original 12 became 2, but these 2 (including my daughter) were joined by a dozen like-minded players already at Union or coming from other clubs. The resulting team was not necessarily comprised of the best players or athletes, but ones that were willing to commit to becoming the best. Snap shot 3-4 years later, in most respects this 93/94 team is now one of the best, “pure soccer playing" clubs in CA. Carine was the difference; where Union, Gary Ireland, his brother Simon plus the staff exuded soccer quality, these were sharp weapons in the context of soccer development that needed to be dished out to young girls in a measurable way. Carine mentored the girls, played on the field with them, built up their confidence and speed of play. Carine brought in the available expertise over time…when the girls were physically and emotionally ready. Soon they were all out there playing together, Carine, Gary and frequent guest national and international players. Carine was/is a great coach to my daughter. She understands how to engage the girls in the process of becoming a player in every way. Not just on the field/games, but also in fostering independent play/training, creating fans of the professional sport (EPL etc.), and linking soccer success to academic success with college goals in mind. With all the positive development experience my daughter has become competitive in every way. In this sense as parents we could not be more thankful and could simply say to Carine, job well done. However, an unexpected bonus has been Carine’s steady involvement in promoting my daughter amongst colleges. Through Carine’s contacts we have had a steady flow of interest from colleges throughout the country. My daughter is only a sophomore, but we are very confident that through Carine’s help she will have many college options going forward. And through Carine’s influence it is clear that my daughter will remain engaged in the sport in college and beyond; not for the potential scholarships and awards, but simply because Carine has taught her to love the game"
Jim Kingman. Father of Annie Kingman. U16 USA Womens National team Squad; US Federation National Training Centers; NorCal State PDP & id2 Nationa; ODP Regional; St Francis HS Standout
"Our daughter Dana has been playing soccer from a very early age. Throughout her soccer career she has played for several teams and has trained with a variety of coaches. A few years ago Dana became more involved with soccer and we wanted to ensure she trained in the very best environment. We evaluated a few options and selected PSV Union, managed by Carine and Gary Ireland. Looking back, we could not have hoped for anyone better than Carine to be such an important part of Dana’s life. Carine contributes to and influences Dana far beyond soccer. Carine coaches with great passion, dedication, discipline and inspiration and was able to motivate Dana like no other coach and to instill her passion for soccer. Carine is a role model and inspires Dana to work hard and to do the very best she can not only on the soccer field but with everything else she does as well. Carine taught Dana various aspects of soccer and played a significant role in bringing Dana to the next level of play and to open her college opportunities. Carine has high expectations and is an amazing coach for players that would like to take the challenge and are willing to work hard to improve. We are grateful for everything Carine has given Dana and we have no doubt any player, no matter his or her level will greatly benefit from the valuable qualities that Carine possesses as a coach and mentor".
Gadi and Yolanda Schwarz. Parents of Dana Schwartz. NorCal State PDP & id2 National; Former ODP State; USC Womens Soccer Bound 2012.
"Carine has been our daughter Ashley's coach for 8 years. Carine is such an outstanding role model on and off the field and we are amazed by her passion, dedication and great organizational skills. Ashley is so lucky to have Carine as a coach and mentor as she continues to grow as both a player and person. Ashley joined the team when she was ten as a recreational player, now she is a competitive athlete trying to improve her skills each day. I know Ashley will go to college with confidence, mental strength and a good attitude. Carine cares so thoroughly about Ashley, sometimes in more detail than we as parents, and she has the capability to bring out the best in a player. The passion, determination, and pushing oneself through hardship that Carine instilled in Ashley enables her to play in one of the top girls teams in the state. Carine is truly an amazing coach and a great mentor. We strongly recommend her to anyone who is seeking to become both a high-level player and mature, confident young adult" George Zhao.
"Carine is a dedicated coach, role model, and mentor to not only our daughter, Siobhan, but to every other member of her team. When Siobhan joined the club nine years ago Carine helped the girls look beyond the present to the future. That first year, she advised them that they would probably not win one game, maybe not make even one goal, because they were going to be taught a style of soccer that takes time to learn, a style that combines skill, strategy, and constant practice. While many other teams were learning to 'kick and run' Siobhan's team began the long journey of growing into one of the top competitive teams in the state. For every skill they would learn, it would take the girls one to two years to perfect it. Today, it is a joy to us to see the team compete at the highest levels and be recognized for their fluid passing, pin-point control on the ball, and strategic ability to control the game. It's almost impossible to communicate the depth of bonding the girls have with Carine, and with each other thanks to Carine's emphasis on teamwork and being there for each other. As they move on to play soccer at the top-tier colleges that Carine helped them win acceptances to, they carry with them the confidence to play well at the highest levels of soccer. We can't wait to see where the journey, begun so long ago at PSV Union, takes them". Rebecca Cox.
Our daughter started training with PSV Union football club in the fall of 2009 when she attended the Academy at the age of 6. Prior to this she played with AYSO for 2 years and enjoyed the game,but we were looking for a place where along with love for the game, that technical skills and understanding of football are taught and stressed and where coaches were former players. PSV Union is a real football club such as the ones I knew growing up in Belgium. All of the club's teams practice at the same time and know each other. The coaches Gary, Simon, Vic, Cal, and Carine rotate so that they know all the players' strengths and weaknesses. The coaches all have a passion to teach, to develop, to explain, and to correct by demonstration as well as joining the side games. The older team players know the younger team players and reverse. Annelies started with the boys' team when she graduated from the Academy and she still joins them for practice in small groups and other event.
Carine stands out to me as a coach, organizer and role model, because of how she transfers her knowledge and passion to the players. She is able to breakdown these ball handling and technical skills in understandable components adjusted to the age group she is working with; especially for the younger girls as this allows them really to develop. She teaches and works through the exercises at game speed when necessary which really allow the players understand how and what needs to be achieved. She is able to build up their confidence and to let them understand the importance of independent training. When we attended the local Bay Area Breeze games and saw her playing it made a lasting impression on my daughter. Carine organizes all the training and game times for all the teams and has a very diligent communication, as well as fitting in requests for small groups to allow extra training, etc. She is just an email away for any question with a timely response, organizes and maintains the www.psvunion,org website.
We are very grateful to be part of this club and feel very lucky to have a coach such as Carine who nurtures our daughter's love of the game.
PSV Union FC is a little hidden gem in the backyards of Palo Alto. If you enjoy soccer, want to attend a good game or looking for a place where excellent players of international caliber are formed/trained, I would highly recommend PSV Union FC. Regards.Luc Verbist
We came to PSV Union for the unparalleled soccer training but quickly learned that the Club offers much more. Gary and Carine Ireland and the other Club coaches are the ultimate inspiration for the players. The coaches are always fully participating in exercises and scrimmages, demonstrating techniques and providing detailed feedback. They have exceptional high standards, and hold themselves and the players accountable on and off of the field. The Ireland's sincere interest in every player's individual development, health, academics and college aspirations makes the Club feel like family.
Our oldest daughter, Sophia, started with Union at the age of 13. After playing with one of the most successful teams in the country for almost 6 years, Sophia worked out with the Irelands and after one training session immediately realized that their players possessed special skills. In less than one year with the Club, the PSV coaches transformed her game and commitment to training. The training provided at PSV is targeted to each player’s strengths and weaknesses – it’s not one size fits all.
Lastly, we can’t say enough about Carine and the balance she provides for the coaching staff. As parent of 4 kids training with the Club, Carine is a wonderful role model – both as a player and person. Carine works tirelessly for the players and challenges every player to improve their game and focus - but she is also very compassionate and will help players in any way she can, including taking a parent-like interest in injuries and helping players rehab.
Club soccer is an intense commitment where children spend a great deal of time with their coaches – we feel there is no one we would trust more than the Irelands and the other PSV Union coaches. Cisco and Gwen Villalta