Napa United was recently ranked No. 47 among the top boys club soccer programs in the United States in the inaugural ranking system conducted by Soccer Wire, a national online media network focusing on American soccer development.
Napa United was the only club listed from the North Bay. The other Northern California clubs include the San Jose Earthquakes (No. 7), De Anza Force (No. 20), Sacramento Republic (No. 24), Santa Clara Sporting (No. 42), Heritage Wolves of Concord (No. 73), Monterey County SC (No. 89) and Davis Legacy (No. 94). FC Dallas was the top team in the rankings.
“This is a major development for our soccer community and an honor for our organization, the players, all the families involved, and speaks to the efforts of our board members and volunteers,” said Gavin Taylor, Head of Soccer Operations for Napa United.
According to Soccer Wire’s website, the ranking system wasn’t simply about finding out which clubs win the most games or tournaments.
“One of our primary goals in launching this project is to provide an objective ranking system which passes the proverbial ‘eye test’ for players, coaches, parents and administrators around the country who closely follow the youth soccer landscape,” the website says.
This includes putting additional value on clubs that place teams on colleges, professional teams, and national teams. It’s no coincidence, therefore, that Sebastian Carbajal was recently selected to the San Jose Earthquakes youth team.
“Seba is one of our 2005 boys. He was called up to US Soccer’s national ID team that played in France and Belgium last summer and just scored a hat trick last weekend for the ’Quakes in an MLS tournament,” Taylor said. “The ranking accounts for Napa United developing top talent like Seba and several other players that are gathering attention from professional teams.”
Not surprisingly, the top 25 is loaded with professional soccer clubs such as the San Jose Earthquakes, Sacramento Republic and Real Salt Lake, which were all in Napa two weekends ago for Napa United’s MLS Invitational.
“Being included with MLS clubs and the top developmental academies in the United States is something we are very proud of,” said Taylor. “We will continue to provide the best environment for our players to be successful.”
Napa United President Jarrett Anderson was very thankful to the board of directors for providing the organization that supports the coaches and players.
“The board is a group of phenomenally dedicated volunteers who put in countless hours,” he said.
Anderson also recognized the Napa Valley businesses and community groups that support Napa United.
“We have a large network of donors and sponsors who allow us to keep the price of our programs down, which provides better access to our community’s soccer players,” said Anderson. “Napa Valley Petroleum just sponsored our entire spring recreation program, and other local community-focused businesses want to know how they can support our youth players. We are not a professional club and we can’t charge our families enormous amounts of fees. The support of our local businesses is phenomenal.”
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