Washington youth soccer taking off

Soccer in Washington, particularly the Snohomish County, is taking off according to the man who has been laid in charge of developing it at that level, Gary White.

The English-born former head coach of the Bahamian national team will soon be appointed as the new technical director of Washington Youth Soccer and is confident the job has plenty of potential.

“With the background and the history in this area, soccer is important,” White said.

“There’s a perception that if you’re from England or from South American, that you can play the game and that you know the game better than anybody else,” he said. “But there are people in this state — American kids and American coaches — who love the game just as much as anywhere else in the world.”

His new job will be to grow the game for an association that already includes some 130,000 registered players ages 5-18 and around 15,000 coaches statewide but White is keen to push even further than just numbers.

“We’re very aggressive about being the No. 1 organization and about offering the best possible programs to every player, no matter what level they play at,” White added. “It’s a huge organization and the potential is unbelievable.

“Obviously we want to have the best ODP (Olympic Development Program) youth teams in the country, but also we want to have the best programs for those kids who just want to play, and for the referees, coaches and administrators. So we’re very aggressive about what we want to do.”

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