Maryland Bobcats FC Youth Teams See Success in Season Openers

A profile on Alex Kao
Published Sep 30, 2021

Written by: Kalin Hicks

Many may know the Bobcats from the professional senior team that plays at the Maryland SoccerPlex, but that is far from where the talent ends. The club has a vast roster of young local players who represent the club in multiple age groups. The senior team management and even a starting player can be found coaching the youth teams in their time not spent training with and playing for the senior team.

This past month, the U13 team opened up their fall 2021 season with a 1-1 draw on September 18th. Coached by senior team midfielder Alex Kao, the squad saw a bright future in their first game. “The U13 learned a lot in their first 11vs11 match ever last weekend. They are hungry for a first win feeling at this level and I believe they will also achieve it” said Kao when asked about the team’s performance. 

A week later on September 25th, the U14 team wins their first game in a 2-0 victory under Head Coach Idrissa Sesay. Additionally, the U17 squad saw a 2-1 victory while looking stylish in the all-white kits seen regularly at home games played by the first team. 

Serving as Maryland’s only professional soccer club comes with a prime opportunity to be the leading charge in growing the game across the state. Traditionally, professional soccer clubs will have a vast network of youth teams to help get the community involved in the sport at an early age. 

In my opinion it is crucial for a professional club to have a youth program. It is very difficult to find talent nowadays since many clubs fight to get the best players” said Kao. “A youth program allows you to produce your own talent that eventually will join the first team. Having a youth program also brings you closer to the community which plays a huge part for a professional team to be fully successful.”

Youth teams serve as a dual benefit to both the club and the communities they serve. Aspiring players get an opportunity to represent their local clubs on the field while also getting high level training and exposure to propel them to the next level in the sport. 

Those who choose to coach such as Kao and Sesay get the opportunity to engage with the youth and the potential future of the club. Allowing those who have seen success in the sport to pass along knowledge and wisdom to players looking to improve. 

 “The best part of being a coach in my humble opinion is to be able to share the little knowledge to the next generation and be able to see them grow through the sport. Coaching is teaching, mentoring, and not just on the soccer field but also in these young players’ lives.” said Kao. 

As the club looks to the next match on the professional side of things, fans can also throw their support behind the younger Bobcats as they too work towards achieving their goals in soccer. The next superstar for MBFC could be waiting in the wings of one of the very talented and promising youth teams.