AVYSL is honored to have served as the club of choice for many rising stars in the world of soccer.
Now on the rosters of professional soccer teams, Division 1 college teams and beyond, learn about some amazing individuals, their AVYSL experience and how thier hard work and dedication has truly paid off!
Signs to Play in Europe
Mikey Minutillo was born, raised, coached and played soccer in Almaden, about six thousand miles away from where he will play on his first professional soccer team in Europe. Mikey played youth soccer for the Almaden AVYSL, before going to the US Soccer Academy as a youth player and to Penn State University to play Division 1 college soccer where he completed his education and his amateur soccer career.
Mikey recently inked his first professional contract with the European club 07 Vestur in Denmark. Mikey’s Penn State college coach, Bob Warming, said, as quoted from the Penn State Collegian, “I’m so proud of Mikey because it has been quite a journey for him to get to this point. Mikey had trust that we would help him develop”—and he did. Mikey developed into one of the top forwards in the Big 10 conference playing for Penn State against teams like Maryland, Indiana, Ohio State and Michigan. Coach Warming also coached Mikey’s older brother Danny, now an attorney and also an AVYSL soccer player, at Division 1 Creighton University in Omaha.
During Mikey’s college soccer career, he was named Rookie of the Year, Big 10 Player to Watch, and held most points for goals and assists. Mikey has wanted to play professional soccer since he was a young player for the AVYSL.
Mikey started playing for the AVYSL as a 4 year old playing up on a U6 team and continued with the AVYSL until the US Soccer Academy offered him a spot. Mikey, now standing about 6’3”, has always been one of the bigger players on the team even when he played up for the AVYSL. In Mikey’s younger playing years, his parents had to carry around a copy of his birth certificate because referees and parents on the other team would complain about his size and question his age. Mikey always played forward or attacking midfielder for the AVYSL, as he did in college.
Mikey said, “Though English is not the first language here, everyone has gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable. My teammates have treated me like family. I’ve already made a few friends and, even though soccer is very fast paced here, I’ve scored goals in our pre-season games as a starting forward. I’m so grateful to everyone at the AVYSL for teaching me the importance of foot skills and fast play as a young soccer player. The AVYSL, followed by my college coach, Bob Warming, really helped me realize my lifelong dream to become a professional soccer player”.
Defender, Vancouver Whitecaps
Iranian National Team
Steven Beitashour, proud alum of Almaden Valley Youth Soccer League (AVYSL), was born and raised right here in Almaden Valley, until he attended college at SDSU where he majored in Communications while appearing in 57 games for the SDSU Aztecs.
Beitashour was drafted in the 2nd round of the MLS SuperDraft to join the SJ Earthquakes where he has played since 2010. Steven represented the Iranian National Team during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and currently plays for the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Beitashour generously remains connected to AVYSL and his hometown community. Just recently, in the spring of 2013, Beitashour came out to support AVYSL for a "meet-and-greet", signing autographs and taking pictures with our AVYSL spring recreational players . Thank you, Steven!
2013 NSCAA National Championship team: West Virginia Tech
Sebastian Cousins came to the United States as a foresign exchange student from Ecuador and came to play with our AVYSL competitive team - Newcastle United - during his U-15 to U-17 years.
Cousins was a huge part of the team's chemistry with his never-quit attitude. "Sebas" is an excellent example of showcasing a possessional game with his creative moves and quality distribution, not to mention his finishing with a deadly accurate cannon of a left leg.
It's that kind of drive and determination that saw Sebastian and his teammates from West Virginia Tech take it all the way to the 2013 NSCAA National Championships!