AUBURN — McG United Soccer Academy returns to the Auburn-Lewiston Youth Soccer Association Fields in Auburn behind Auburn Middle School on Falcone Ave. after a year off due to the COVID virus pandemic.

This academy promotes an atmosphere in which players have fun while pushing themselves to learn skills. The academy knows that players grow and learn in different ways. One thing that seems consistent with players is that they are basically competitive. The coaches and councilors strive to teach skills in competitive and fun environments.

The coaches and councilors are hand-picked for their skills as players and for their ability to relate to the age groups they coach.

Returning is Don Plourde who will be the director of the 11 and under age groups. His groups are usually the largest and the most enthusiastic. Varsity-level players and Eric Wagner will assist him. Frank “Butch” Dow returns also to train the keepers from grade 7 through 12. He will be assisted by one or more college-level goalkeepers. Butch has coached nearly a dozen keepers (both boys and girls) in his career who have been selected for conference, division, and state honors.

Dan Gish, present boys varsity coach at Lewiston High School, and Abdijabar Hersi, the new men’s soccer coach at Central Maine Community College, will coach the Elite group of players. These are players whose ages are between 12 to 16 years old.

Eric Wagner men’s soccer coach at Swarthmore College will be a guest clinician and lecturer. Eric has also stated he would like to coach a younger group of kids as well. He is coming off a year in which he took a sabbatical for a 2019 spring semester in England. He participated as a coach with professional clubs. Part of his curriculum was working with the youth of those clubs.

The academy skills are basic fundamentals in the game, which can be taken home and can be done anytime and in almost any space where a ball and a kid can play.

The academy is a place where new friendships are made as well.

The McG United Soccer Academy will take place July 26-30 at the LAYSA Fields in Auburn. Anyone who may want to obtain a brochure can pick one up at local elementary and middle schools in Lewiston, Auburn, Lisbon, Greene, and Turner.

There is a discount for players who register before July 1st.


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