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USC Girls' Soccer making its mark in North Alabama

By USC, 11/22/19, 8:00AM CST


USC 01/02GP: First DI ASA Girls' State Champion Fall 2019....and then a REPEAT for USC 02/03 Girls Premier in Fall 2020!

USC makes its mark on soccer in North Alabama and continues to build a strong girls' program led by the 01/02 Girls Premier winning the program's FIRST D1 State Champion on the girls' side in Fall 2019!

The USC 02/03 Girls Premier returned in Fall 2020 showing resilience after a COVID plagued season to REPEAT as D1 U19 Girls' CHAMPIONS!  
Several more State League champions, tournament champions, and successful teams of girls at every age group are flourishing in a positive culture that celebrates these young ladies and their talents.

United Soccer Club is proud to offer an outstanding program for young women ages 4-18, alongside our boys program.  From the U6 Academy to the U19 Girls, our coaches and staff are focused on developing strong, independent, skilled girls who can handle themselves with grace and integrity on and off the field.  USC's Girls' coaches are committed to providing improved player development, increased technical skills, refined tactical understanding, and more, all while handling the unique needs of the girls in a positive and constructive environment.  Our coaches are prepared to succeed and fail, challenge and encourage, teach and correct, and develop and nurture all the girls, whether soccer veterans or new to the sport.  If you would like more information on the USC Girls' Program, email and we will put you in touch with the appropriate age group manager. 

Meet the United Soccer Club Girls' Coaches

Coach Kassie Duke (U6 Coed Academy)

Coach Kassie Duke and Coach Kelsie Shields
Assistant Coaches Donald Lao and Fatmata Mansaray

The U6 Coed Academy focused on footwork, ball control, passing, dribbling, and shooting this fall.  Small sided games keep the U6 moving and lots of balance and coordination games prepare these players for a long career in soccer.

Coaches Jon Garcia and Alberta Bojang

Coach Jon and Coach Alberta spent the U9 Girls fall season developing more skills, honing the girls' ability to play with intensity, and growing their passion for the game.  They focused on building their chemistry together and made great progress for such a young age.  They spent the season playing matches against local teams and several teams older than them, which challenged them and pushed them to be better!  

Coach Yinka Ajayi

Coach Yinka:
Olayinka Keith Ajayi was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He has 20 years of playing and coaching experience combined. Yinka started playing club soccer at the age of 8 with the Huntsville Web. In addition, he has played with the Green Mountain Cougars and the Rocket City Kicks club teams. In 1999, while playing with the Kicks, he helped his team win the Alabama State Cup. Yinka attended Sparkman High School where he played 2 years of Varsity basketball.

After graduating from high school, he attended Auburn University and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering. He is employed by KAYA Associates, Inc. working as a contractor to NASA. Since fall of 2008, he has been coaching with United Soccer Club working with the '98, ’99, ’01, ’02, 03’, 04’, 05’ boys’ teams, and the '97 and ’02 girls’ team. Yinka currently holds a USSF National “D” coaching license.

"Coaches Kassie and Yinka were successful in transitioning this new group of girls into the 7v7 style of play.  She taught so many individual skills, while incorporating position play and managing the needs of young girls, all while facing a tough season game wise. I enjoyed being able to watch her make breakthroughs every practice with different players.  I truly look forward to seeing what these girls will do together as they continue to progress."  Kevin Shivers, 10G Coach 

10 Girls

Coach Kevin Shivers

Coach Kevin is a veteran coach from the high school ranks, having coached exclusively women's teams at Hartselle High School (Hartselle, AL), Jackson High School (GA), and Lovejoy High School (GA) to include three GA state playoff appearances.  Coach Kevin currently teaches at Bob Jones High School, is an adjunct US History professor for Calhoun Community College, and played himself at the University of Montevallo.  He currently holds a USSF "Grassroots" license for 7v7 and is working on his D License.  
The USC 10G wrapped up their Fall 2019 season in remarkable fashion.  The girls finished as CHAMPIONS of their group at the Battleground Tournament in Franklin, TN.  That was followed by victories against multiple other local and regional teams.  The team closed out their season at the Alabama Super Cup in Decatur finishing in second place, losing by only a single goal.  The team finished with two medals and a final record on the season of 7-4-4--a vast improvement over their Spring 2019.   The team welcomed four new players this season, and Coach Kevin is most proud of their improvement over the previous season, their perseverance to never give up in any situation, their individual growth as players, and their connection as teammates.   
"My daughter has enjoyed every minute of United Soccer Club and begged for more.  Coach Kevin is funny, kind and encouraging and has still managed to teach the girls amazing skills. They went from a tough spring season to finishing on the podium twice!" -Juliet Wells, 10G parent 

08 Girls

08 Girls

08 Girls

Coach John Lawrence

Coach John was born in Pascagoula, MS and played with several select club teams from U12-U19 and was part of the Mississippi Olympic Development Program. John played high school soccer at Resurrection Catholic School (RCS) and helped the Eagles to consecutive playoff runs and was selected to two MS High School All-Star Teams. He played collegiate soccer at the University of South Alabama from 1990-1992. In the fall of 1993 he traveled to Stuttgart, Germany and played professionally for Division II and III teams in the Stuttgart Futbol Club organization. In the spring of 1994, he played for Mississippi State University Club team for three years with their team attending the national tournament two years in a row. John has also been a member of the Huntsville Premier Adult League "Lawdogs" Team since 1999.

John has over 15 years of coaching experience (High School, Club, and Recreation) in Mississippi and the North Alabama area. John currently holds a USSF "E" Coaching License.

Fun fact:  You may hear Coach John referred to as "Coach Nasty".  Back in the day he had a mean shot on goal and his friends would say his shots were "nasty".....and it stuck.  So, don't be alarmed if you hear someone yell for Coach Nasty!   

Assistant Coach: Alberta Bojang
Assistant Coach: Katie Younanian
Assistant Coach: Donald Lao

"We cannot say enough positive things about our daughter's experience with USC soccer.  Across the board (the organization, coaches, teammates, and parents) everyone is supportive and encouraging.  It is a great environment to enhance soccer skills and build team unity."  -Melanie and Casey Clark, 08G parents

07 Girls

07 Girls

Coach Jon Garcia

Coach Jon started playing soccer at a young age in Virginia with the Pumas FPYC, where the team grew from D6 to D1 under a passionate Brazilian coach who instilled the love and passion for futbol into Jon.   Life interrupted Jon's soccer career, but he is grateful he gets to share his love of the sport with his three daughters and United Soccer Club. 

Jon began coaching his oldest daughter in NC during his military service and after his family moved  to Alabama,  Jon coached in the AYSO organization before meeting Coach Rusty by chance.   The Garcia family is now entrenched in the USC culture with Jon coaching the 07 Girls teams and the U7/8 Academy, his 3 daughters playing for the club, and his wife, Tara, managing the 07 Girls.  

Coach Jon takes pride in treating all the girls as soccer players, not just "girl" soccer players.  He instills the passion and intensity he was taught as a young player; playing hard on the field for themselves and for the teammates beside them.   His vision for his teams is to teach the girls to become well rounded soccer players on the field, but also well rounded in school and friendships off the field. 

"I could write an essay, but in a nutshell our experience with United Soccer Club has been enriching because of Coach Jon Garcia.  He has not only taught our daughter the game of soccer, but he has developed her athleticism, taught her perseverance, and how to work hard.  He has built a strong team of girls who are now like a family."  Leslie Jeffrey, 07G parent 

Coach Jared Keesee

Coach Jared is from Malvern, AR and began playing soccer at age 8 when club soccer came to town.  A 4-year letterman at Malvern High School, Jared chose missionary work in Southeast Asia over several college offers.  Over the next 4 years in Asia, Jared accepted a position with Ramkhamhaeng United, a member of the Bangkok Professional Futsal League and played amateur and semi-professional leagues in 5 different countries.  He then came back to coach at Malvern Soccer Club, leading several teams to State Championships.  Jared moved to Huntsville in 2016 and is currently the Head Coach for the James Clements Boys' Varsity team. 

Coach Jared led the 03/04 Girls Elite to a D2 A U17 title in Fall 2020 and the USC 03/04 Girls Select Team to the finals in the D2 B U17 bracket of State Cup! 

 “Jared is the best coach I’ve ever had. He’s tough but caring and makes us all want to be better.”  03/04G player
“Jared has such a passion for soccer and for making these girls be the best they can be and it shows. He not only teaches them how to play soccer, but also how to be persistent, show determination, exhibit discipline, have dedication, lead with your heart, and always show respect for others. He is changing these girls lives both on & off the field.”  Kim Foster, 03/04 parent


ASA 2014 Girls' Coach of the Year

Coach Mike Latty

Coach Latty is a former member of the Jamaican National Team. He played for Alabama A&M University where he helped lead them to an NCAA Division II Championship in 1977. After graduation from college, Mike was the assistant coach at Alabama A&M from 1979-1982. Mike went on to work on his coaching career by attaining his USSF A license and completing his certification for the United States Advanced National Coaching Diploma. In 1988 Mike returned to Huntsville to become the head coach for the Grissom High School Varsity Boys Soccer team. Over a ten year period, Grissom won the Alabama State 6A championship 5 times, finished second twice and was ranked in the top 20 Nationally for 5 of those years. Mike became the head coach at Alabama A&M University in 1998 and has been the patriarch of USC from its inception.  Coach Latty was also named the 2014 ASA Girls' Coach of the Year.  

Assistant Coach Ryan Black:
Ryan grew up in Huntsville, AL where he played youth and high school soccer. He played for the Green Mountain Cougars under Coach Bryan Naughton and at Grissom High School under Coach Mike Latty. Because of the opportunity he had learning the game under Coach Naughton and Coach Latty, he enjoys giving back what was given to him as a young player. He enjoys coaching all ages and at all levels and has coached high school, club, and community college.  Ryan wants to share what he has learned from his 2 coaches. These key aspects are honor, knowledge, respect, and the love for the game.  He currently holds a D license. 
On the 03/04 Girls:  " has been amazing watching these girls create the sisterhood and family that they have. Seeing the girls program grow like it has since they were 9 is an incredible testimony to what United Soccer Club represents. It has been an honor coaching these girls and watching the girls program grown like it has." 

Coach Nick Smith

Coach Nick grew up playing in the community for Kicks FC 93 Boys.   Nick was a part of one of the four teams that helped form United Soccer Club in our inaugural season of 2007.  He also played at Grissom High School and was part of the 2010 State Championship team in his junior season.  After graduating High School, Coach Nick played soccer from 2011-2015 at Spring Hill College in Mobile, AL serving as team co-captain during his senior season. Nick currently teaches math at Grissom High School.  He was an extremely high level player, with great soccer IQ, and has an excellent perspective on sports and life.  Coach Nick is currently the Assistant Coach for the Randolph Girls' Soccer program. 

"Coach Nick has been a great coach for our girls for the past two seasons.  He has inspired them to play their best no matter what team they are facing.  He uses his skill as a player to better coach each of them.  He has been overheard talking about how USC is like family and he wished coaching was his full time job (don't tell his boss!).  We are fortunate as a team and a club to have him as a coach and supporter.  And what is a coach without a trusty assistant?  Coach Patrick has been a fixture with our team and instrumental in helping the girls develop their skills.  We are thankful for both our fabulous coaches."  Amanda Lowe 05/06G parent

01/02 Girls Premier:
Coach Nick and the 01/02 Girls Premier Team became the FIRST FEMALE STATE CHAMPIONS FOR USC this Fall!  The Girls had a tremendous season going 5-0 in state league play against the other 01G teams in the state league play outscoring opponents 24-0. In the State Cup they won 9-0 in the semi finals and 3-0 in the Championship game. It was an incredible season, and tremendous standard of soccer the team put together all season.  Outside of State League, they were also finalists at The Liberty Cup early in the season. 
Assistant Coach: Alberta Bojang

"Nick is an outstanding coach who challenges each player to become the very best version of themselves on and off the field."  Jason Songy, 01/02 & 11G parent 

Goal Keeping: Paul Cano

Coach Paul hails from Mexico where he coached in the youth academies at all age levels at two of the most prominent professional soccer organizations in Mexican First Division Professional Soccer, Atlas and Chivas.  Paul's love of soccer and unique international perspective bring an amazing opportunity for the youth of USC to learn from one of the most qualified!