5 Arizona Soccer Names You Need to Know
Arizona soccer has some pretty big names. The Grand Canyon state is filled with top tier players, coaches, and organizers that contribute to a growing soccer culture. Soccer’s growth in Arizona can be seen through many successful high school and college programs. Not to mention the advent of semi-professional teams and the newly branded Phoenix Rising FC. It can be tough to keep your finger on the pulse of Arizona soccer. Don’t worry, AZSoccer has all the latest soccer news, information and happenings. In this series of articles, we’ll be highlighting some of the most important names in local soccer. These players, coaches and scouts have all contributed to the local and even national soccer scene. Here are five names you need to know in Arizona soccer.
Katie Cole might not be a household name. But don’t let that fool you. Cole is one of the most influential figures in women’s soccer. Cole has a deep history of soccer leadership that extends beyond Arizona. She was a four-year starter at the University of Texas at Austin before moving onto a coaching position at the University of Louisville. In 2004, she founded the youth club AZ Fury and has served as an Arizona Olympic Development Program director since 2013.
Cole’s invaluable leadership has paid off in a big way. She was recently announced as one of five Technical Advisors for the U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy. Her job will help develop scouting networks to help identify elite talent and prepare young athletes for the highest levels of American soccer.
“I am honored and excited about my new role,” Cole said. “The soccer landscape has changed drastically over the past few years and this is a great step forward by U.S. Soccer in order to develop world-class female players.”
The U.S. Soccer Development Academy’s mission is to develop world-class players by impacting every day club environments. The academy has been around since 2007, but will begin including a Girls’ Development Academy in Fall 2017. They currently have 150 total clubs with five age groups for youth development.
“U.S. Soccer and the Girls DA are taking the necessary steps to create a development platform that is unmatched and I am more than enthusiastic to be a part of that,” Cole said. “This platform has the ability to put top players in each state in a necessary training and playing environment that will aid their development and be the platform that elite players in each state will want to be a part of.”
Cole’s official role will be as Technical Advisor for the Frontier Division. In addition to scouting top talent, her feedback will be instrumental in improving club training and play. This may be a new job, but Cole is no stranger to U.S. Soccer. She previously worked as part of the Arizona U.S. Soccer Training Center and has been an Olympic Development Program age group coach. She’ll take her local expertise to help soccer’s growth efforts on a national level.
“Arizona as well as many other states across the country have talent pools that are spread out amongst other clubs,” Cole said. “Bringing these players together to train and compete together year round will allow for the players to reach their fullest potential and ultimately create more players that will have opportunities to compete for the U.S. Youth National Teams and the full National Team.”
Cole’s success on a local level has helped her garner national attention. Now it’s time to see her work translate on a national level. If her time in Arizona is any indication, then look forward to big things at the U.S. Soccer Development Academy.
“I am eager to begin the process and ready to contribute to a platform that will not only enhance and influence, but will maximize, the overall development of youth players in this country.”
Read the rest of the series of 5 Names to Watch in Arizona Soccer:
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