FRISCO - Names like Victor Ulloa, Moises Hernandez and Kellyn Acosta quickly come to mind when speaking about the success of the vaunted youth academy setup at Toyota Stadium, but there’s another one making waves on the girls’ side you should get to know: Addison McCain.
The 16-year-old from Wylie East High School recently returned from U.S. Soccer Under-18 Women’s National Team camp in California, the first camp to start the process of choosing the team for the 2018 U-20 Women’s World Cup.
“It was awesome. It was my first camp and so going into it the first couple days I was nervous but I started settling in and got used to the girls,” said McCain, in what was her first youth national team camp. “Once I started making friends I got comfortable and just realized it was soccer, what I do all week, and so the next few days I got to go out there and just be myself.”
While the call-up for McCain is huge on a personal level, it’s a shining example of the strides made in the FC Dallas ECNL[Elite Clubs National League…the female equivalent of US Soccer’s Development Academy] program. McCain is an FCD lifer having joined the club back in 2005 at the age of seven.
“It’s a very big advantage,” McCain said about playing for FC Dallas. “There are teams that don’t have a place like this and the end result is they might not get to practice. We have turf fields, if it rains they can’t practice so we’re fortunate to have all these fields and it’s awesome.”
On a team coached by Matt Grubb, McCain – and now numerous others coming behind her like U-15 girls national team call-up Abby-Grace Cooper – prove that FC Dallas is becoming a player development powerhouse on the girls side similar to the major accomplishments on the boys side.
“I’ve seen her grow for 10 years so it gives me an extreme amount of pride for what we’ve done here and what we’ve provided as an environment,” said Grubb. “The environment has changed quite a bit and just the model we’ve been able to do from the boys’ side and the jump to get the girls ECNL side in the office and investing in the ECNL side for me gives an extreme amount of pride.”
“We’re starting to see a lot of girls getting looks and we’ve really got a name on the girls’ side. It really does, for brand of soccer and just the types of players we produce especially going to big colleges, so it’s just an extreme amount of pride.”
As for McCain, who hasn’t picked a college yet but has some of the biggest names in the country courting her, she’s a central midfielder who said she prides herself on keeping possession, working hard and not “just kicking it and playing it long.” It’s easy to see why she fits in at FC Dallas so well.
“She does all the little things and all the dirty work,” said Grubb. “She’s incredibly creative, thoughtful and really aware of her surroundings. She sees a lot of things that others don’t see.”
Could a big future be ahead for the FC Dallas lifer patrolling the center of the park for the FCD U-17 ECNL team? Don’t count her out.
“She has to improve some facets of her game like everyone,” said Grubb. “But with the kind of drive she has and the kind of kid she is with her work ethic, I think she would be one in our program here at FC Dallas that could potentially do that.”