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PSV Union 97-99G-A Long Term Approach to Development

2014 Surf Cup U17 Champions (Gold Division).

Coaches Gary & Carine Ireland handing out Surf Cup Champions awards







#12 Allson Lu 2016  

#3 Georgia Kingman 2016

#7 Jacey Pederson 2016 (committed to UCLA)

#6 Sophia Vilallta 2016

# 8 Nikolina Cargonja 2016

#19 Zoe Enright (2016) (committed to Dartmouth) 

#1 Jennifer Parker 2016 (GK)

# 9 Ansley Queen 2016

# 14 Olivia Athens 2017 (committed to North Carolina)

#42 Jessika Cowart 2017

#35 Valerie Chiang 2017 

#33 Gabriella Marta 2017 

#23 McKenna Angotti 2017 (Committed to Stanford) 

#5 Noa Ben Efraim (2017) 

#41 Natza Marin (2018) 

#30 Toni Tsamasfyros (2018) 

#37 Angela Grundig (2018) 


2017 McKenna Angotti Stanford Womens Soccer

2017 Olivia Athens-North Carolina Womens Soccer

2016 Jacey Pederson-UCLA Women's Soccer

2016 Zoe Enright-Dartmouth Women's Soccer 

2014 Maddison Morgan- Middlebury College

2014 Annie McCeachron -Univ. Rochester Womens Soccer

2014 Annie Kingman North Carolina Womens Soccer 

2013 Sydney Carr Santa Barbara Womens Soccer 

2012 Nicki Palermo University of Chicago Womens Soccer 

2012 Amanda Perez University of Washington Womens Soccer 

2012 Briana Thomasson University of California Riverside 

2012 Dana Schwartz University of Southern California (USC) 

2013 Siobhan Cox. Stanford Womens Soccer 

2013 Maya Norman - Bowdoin College

2013 Mia Venuti- UC Santa Cruz 

2013 Ashley Zhao- UCSD 


"How did they become so good?".."What do you do to train them?".."We love the way you play!".."Your players are outstanding!".."We never see club players playing this way. They are a joy to watch".."It is a rare thing to see girls play with such speed of thought and passing precision. They bring beauty to the game. I'm appreciative that you had some time to share with me your vision & methodology. Whatever you're doing over there please continue" 

"It was our pleasure having your team at our (2012 Eclipse College Showcase); many coaches, players and parents enjoyed watching your team play. Out of the many games I watched over the three days it was a pleasure to see PSV Union play Friday &  Saturday. With a very young team including 2015 & 2016 grads, the team played some delightful soccer as well as scoring some great goals. Our U18 white team beat them Friday evening 2-1, but there was no doubt they were the better team. I must commend their coaches Gary and Carine Ireland on seeing the big picture and preparing them for competition with development as their main focus. This group of players are in very capable hands with a bright future ahead of them". Abner Rogers. Technical Director- LagunaHills Eclipse  


U10 - Class 3 Division 3
U11 - Class 3 Division 2
U12 - Class 3 Division 2
U13 - Class 3 Division 1
U14 - Class 1 Division 3 & US Club Soccer/NorCal Premier Gold
U15 - Class 1 Division 1 & US Club Soccer/NorCal Premier
U16 - US Club Soccer/NorCal Premier. played in women’s league
U17 - NorCal Premier/RAL (U18 State Premier 2012 Champions)

U18- NorCal Premier League Premier Division (2nd Place)


  • 2014 Surf College Cup Champions (U17) playing 1 yr up
  • 2014 NPL 2nd place (equal) U18
  • 2013 Surf College Cup (U18) playing 2 years up
  • 2013 PDA Showcase New Jersey
  • 2013 NorCal Premier RAL 2nd Place
  • 2013 Laguna Hills Eclipse Showcase
  • 2012 San Diego Surf Cup U18 Finalist
  • 2012 NorCal U18 Premier League Div.1 Runner Up
  • 2012 Stanford Classic Tournament Champion
  • 2012 Juventus Tourn. of Champions U19 Champion
  • 2012 RAL Showcase/Premier League Champion
  • 2012 PDA Showcase- New Jersey
  • 2012 Laguna Hills Eclipse College Showcase
  • 2011 November Nights Showcase
  • 2011 NorCal Premier League RAL U18 Div.1 Champions
  • 2011 Stanford Summer Classic Champion 
  • 2011 US Club National Cup Regional 'Super Group'
  • 2011 Las Vegas College Showcase
  • 2010 Nomads College Showcase Semi-Finalist 
  • 2011 PSV Union Players Showcase 1st Place 
  • 2011 NorCal State Cup Quarterfinalist 
  • 2010 Placer Prestige Cup ‘Super Group Finalist 
  • 2010 Portland Cup Finalist 
  • 2010 Nomads Coaches Showcase Finalist 
  • 2009 NorCal Cup Gold Division Semi-Finalist 
  • 2008 US Club National Cup Regional 'Super Group' Finalist 
  • 2008 Northern California Showcase Tournament Finalist 
  • 2008 Nomads Coaches Showcase Semi-Finalist 
  • 2007 Nomads Coaches Showcase Quarterfinalist 
  • 2007 District II Cup Class 3 Champion 
  • 2007 Almaden Halloween Classic Finalist 
  • 2007 Bob Fowler Memorial Champion 
  • 2007 NorCal Cup Silver Division Finalist 
  • 2007 CYSA Abronzino League Class 1 Division 3Champion 
  • 2007 Nomads Coaches Showcase Quarter-Finalist 
  • 2007 Placer Prestige Cup Silver Division Finalist 
  • 2007 Sacramento United Suntan Classic Finalist 
  • 2007 Castro Valley Winter Shootout 3rd Place 


  • USA U15 & U18 National Team
  • USA U15 & U17 National Team 
  • USA U14 National Camp 2010 & 2011 
  • USA U15 Camp. ODP Region 4 & CYSA South GK.  
  • USSF National Training Center program (Northern CA player pool for US National Team- 9 players)
  • Mexico Full Womens National Team. U20 & U17 National Team 
  • Israel U19 National Team
  • id2 National Camp (6 players) 
  • id2 Regional Camp (7 players) 
  • ODP Region IV (4 players) 
  • ODP National camp 1 player
  • PDP State and Regional (10 players) 
  • ODP State and District (12+ players) 


We don’t hold regular tryouts where we cut players. Instead we focus on developing each player and invite interested players to come and train with us to see if it’s a good fit. PSV Union players are highly committed individuals. If players leave, it’s usually because they find that they don’t want to commit the time, or want an easier training environment or don’t want to do the homework or simply prefer a more recreational team. We have often substituted our top scorers or impact players when down a goal and often started our youngest and most inexperienced players in order to give them more experience as we believe that everyone needs the opportunity to learn and there are no 'star players' at the youth level. Having ‘star players’ is the wrong message to send players and families. Ample time is given to all players as long as they attend training, apply themselves in practice and train and improve on their own, which entails completing homework. We almost never have guest players as we prefer not to use non-club players to bring us short term results. Instead we play our 'bench’ or invite younger players in our club to play up. Players don't get improve by sitting on the bench unless they are there to learn specifically through observation.  It is important to understand that very often, the stronger player today was once a player who was not as outstanding or capable only a short time ago. Players grow, learn and develop at different rates. Young players need to be rewarded for their commitment and effort, regardless of whether or not they are the “best” players at this particular moment. 

Winning is Secondary to Long Term Development: 

We do not try and win state cups or tournaments and make them so important that they define our club, coach and players' identities. We don’t put any more emphasis on winning state cups as we would playing friendly games. All over the world, the least important events are cup games. These are for the fans/sponsors and as everyone knows anyone on any day can progress to the latter rounds of cups. The coaches win-loss record is not important. Any coach seeking to advance themselves over the player, team and club would are not permitted to coach at PSV Union FC and equally so, any player who puts themselves before their their teammates is equally frowned upon. 

Rankings Are Not Important: 

We do not pay attention to team rankings because the rankings system does not weigh our team performance playing 'up' or playing against boys teams or older, better players. We do not seek ranking status for entry into tournaments. Ranking teams is one of the single biggest problems in youth development and harms player development. 

Making Games and Game Day a Learning Opportunity:

Our commitment to maintaining a learning and training environment, even at games and tournaments, has helped players improve. 

* We take our warm ups seriously. They are detailed, focused and designed to help players prepare mentally, technically and physically while optimizing their preparation. 

* Most free kicks, corner kicks, goal kicks, and throw ins are played short and fast. We require this unless we feel the free kick taker wants to try to shoot or longer distance pass. 

* Our players are required to play out of the back when possible and play out of extreme pressure. 

* Players are played in different positions often in most games. Some players play up to 3 positions per game in order to familiarize themselves with understanding the challenges of each position. Players are encouraged to ‘know their opponent’ and to see “through the looking glass” to gain perspective. 

* We rarely check (unless for scheduling purposes and educational/comparative reasons) to see who we are playing, how many points we have or how many points we need to win, etc. We usually know little about our opposition and research them only after the game has ended. We focus on how we play and not how the opposition plays. We can only control how we play. We do not apply games tactics as our main goal is helping our players develop. We don’t run the clock down or waste time.

* We did not have a designated goalkeeper for 4 years. We rarely encourage the goalkeeper to use their hands when building up and if they do its as an alternative to punting. If a goalkeeper is not available, we prefer a field player with good feet, can read the game and stays connected, making the entire team ahead of them better. The GK needs to be as competent as our field players. Every player must play and understand the importance of the goalkeeper as a last defender and the first playmaker. Unnecessarily ridding the ball (unless clearing the ball under duress) is not accepted. 

Reducing Travel Time & Cost & Increasing Practice & Study Time:

We reduce travel time and expenses by not over-emphasizing away tournaments in order to focus on practice and homework. Our practices are as important and often more intense than games. We practice much more than we play official games. Often the best competition our players get is at the local park or at training vs older college players returning to train or younger teams, boys teams, numbers up or down in a small sided situation, vs coaches and guest pro and college players, etc.

Playing 'Up':

Many players are playing 1-4 age groups up and we often enter tournaments and leagues playing an age group up in order to increase the challenge and improve the level of play.

Mandatory Homework: 

All players have 1,000-6,000+ juggles (variation) with a minimum of 1000+. They are also required to memorize and understand numerous other exercises and technical skills and encouraged to study videos and games. The club follows a specifc, detailed and complex curriculum designed by the coaching directors.

Emphasis on Both Individual Development & Collective Play:

We are focused on player development rather than team results. 95% of development is individual, within the context and collaboration of a team or collective environment. We have a very strong focus on the technical aspects of the game: passing/kicking, dribbling and receiving, in a variety of ways. We also have a very strong emphasis on possession and collective play. These two key elements receive varying levels of focus throughout the year, and combine to help enable each player to be best prepared to utilize all the tools we help them develop to succeed at and enjoy the game.

Learning The “Whole” Game:

We have a very fluid approach to playing the game and we encourage players to learn the whole game, to apply their skills to various situations, and to learn various positions. Each player is encouraged to self express on the field and show initiative and problem solve, sometimes with instruction, and other times without too much coach involvement. Players must be willing to receive the ball in every pressure situation, even playing out of the back under extreme pressure. In practices, we typically play players in “numbers down” situations to force them to address the challenge and find a creative solution both on and off the ball. Conversely, we sometimes play younger players against older more advanced players in a “numbers up” situation so that they can be both challenged and have some success and figure out how to play against superior opponents and individuals and deal with more pressure than they typically encounter in age-pure game situations. In both situations, players are required to learn how to adapt, understand and solve problems.

Learning a Variety of Formations & Positions: 

* PSV Union coaches are not fixed on a particular formation and system of play, although we do play a very creative and attacking style regardless of whether or not we play 4:4:2 or 4:4:3. Establishing permanent set systems do not matter when teaching young players the game. Good/special players make the difference in games and are enjoyable to watch. We busy ourselves developing players first, not teams. Teams the the vehicles in which good players develop. 

* Coaches need to prioritize technical development and movement. We have enjoyed a great deal of success allowing players to play creatively within a framework. We focus only on style and philosophy of play and patterns of play which we will change in the course of the game. We develop playmakers in every position, allowing players the flexibility to be creative in any part of the field. Good players can fit into any system.  It’s true that certain players fit certain systems and perhaps some players suit a particular style of play, however we want players to be creative and inventive as they experience and enjoy their youth soccer careers. We don’t want players “pigeon-holed.” at too youn an age.  

* In the course of a game we often switch positions and switch formations, which is all part of their learning experience. We aren’t concerned too much yet with their overall one system of play because we aren’t interested in winning.  Winning is a bi-product of the way we play. We believe if we possess the ball and can dominate and be comfortable on the ball, regain possession though collective pressing and place a premium on believing that good soccer/football to watch is good soccer/football to play in and vice verca.  

* Later in a player’s youth career players will gravitate to a particular position in a certain formation as they refine their style and qualities but the essence of the way they play remains the same - attacking, attractive, technical football - attractive to watch and attractive to play in from an individual and collective perspective. Players are first and foremost taught the aesthetics of the game and are encouraged to develop a personality and their own healthy competitiveness - with themselves as well as others. Winning itself is not the objective but learning to do your best and playing well is.


We believe that how a player behaves is a reflection of how they conduct themselves in training, games and in other areas of their lives, and believe strongly that respectful behavior is an important of not only player development but the development of each individual as a person. Players are required to be punctual and attend mandatory practices. We require that missed practices be made up but are very flexible with helping players achieve this by allowing them to guest with other teams or groups within the club. Players are required to help set up and take down the field and put away the equipment. Players are also required to show etiquette and respect for teammates, coaches and opponents.

Coaches’ Commitment:

We are extremely committed to the club and team. There has been 100% coaching attendance the past 8 years. Coaches have never missed or cancelled a practice due to their own absence. We’ve also invited dozens of guest coaches to run sessions at our home field. The coaches demonstrate and are required to remain in top physical condition. 

Coaches As Role Models: 

Our coaches are the key to the success of our club. They are role models to the players as teachers and as people. We feel strongly that our behavior and what and how we teach is the most important influence in our club on players’ development and growth. Coaches are required to have a high level technical and physical proficiency and be good examples for the players. In other words, they need to show the players what they need to do. All of the coaches are high level players themselves. When teaching children the ability to physically teach the player is paramount.