MVLA Lightning: About Our Program

MVLA Girls '95/'96 Program
Coach Erin

MVLA currently is comprised of two 95/96 birth year teams. The teams are Lightning and Thunder. If your daughter is born on/after August 1, 1995 and on/before July 31, 1996, then they are age appropriate for our program. Many of our girls play year-round soccer with team practices twice a week during season - Fall and Spring - and optional practices, clinics, futsal, indoor soccer and camps to keep them active during the Winter and Summer. 

Our program is uniquely positioned to provide the best training and development for the girls.  Because we have three sister teams, the girls have the ability to stay with friends, stay with the same trainers and skill clinics, yet move between teams as their ability changes and as their personal goals for soccer changes.  Many of the girls will increase their level and intensity for competitive soccer over the next few years and some will naturally opt to play other sports or dedicate their free time to other outside hobbies and interests leading to a decreased desire for rigorous Class 1 soccer.  That is a perfectly healthy and accepted attitude in our program.  We encourage each player to be the best they can in an environment that supports and fosters their goals.  Our program allows them the flexibility to stay with the MVLA program, yet move amongst the teams as appropriate.

The commitment level at each of our teams is very different.  The Lightning team not only has a practice and fitness training commitment, but their families need to take on the additional commitment to travel to as many as 6 tournaments in a season (not including State Cup), which may take them to regional locations such as Sacramento, Las Vegas, Phoenix or San Diego.   The Hurricanes, on the other hand, will not have an intense tournament schedule and may play in as few as  1 local tournament (not including District Cup). Their weekend and travel commitment is significantly less, as are the costs involved.

In the Winter many of our girls elect to play high school soccer. As per the CIF rule, any player playing hihg school soccer MAY NOT play for their club team or any other "team" where the play is greater than 5v5 (including the use of a neutral player). Throughout the winter optional fitness sessions and small group clinics are offered. However, the coaching staff recognizes that players in high school are playing 5-6 days a week with their respective schools.

Bothof our teams play some form of Spring soccer whether through ECNL, NorCal or through a scrimmage schedule. Training begins as soon as high school season ends and the season concludes at the beginning of June. Team practices during season are twice a week, in addition, weekly skill clinics are also encouraged. Typically there are 1 or 2 tournaments or showcase events in the Spring, IN ADDITION TO, playing in the State Cup tournament.

Summer and early Fall is the season for tournaments.  Both teams participate in several tournaments during the Summer. Practices continue twice a week throughout the summer. Several players attend the week-long ODP training camp, several choose to attend college id camps. In the past the girls have prepared for such tournaments as USYSA Regional Championships, National Championships,
and Surf Cup.

Both teams participate in the ECNL program. There are several tournaments that the teams will play in during August, it depends on which team your daughter is on.  During the Fall there will be team practices twice a week and again, the optional small, skill clinics are offered to supplement that training.

The head coach for the Lightning team is Erin Montoya.  She was the head coach of the Los Altos High School Varsity Girls Soccer team (2007 CCS Champions) and also the MVLA Avalanche (3-time State Cup Champions).  Prior to that Erin was a standout player at Santa Clara University, a former professional player (WUSA) with both the San Diego Spirit and San Jose Cyberrays.  

Albertin Montoya, currently the Director of Coaching for the MVLA Soccer Club and former Head Coach of the championship FC Gold Pride, is an integral part of our program.  Albertin was a college Hermann Trophy finalist at Santa Clara University, part of the Men's Olympic team and a first round draft pick by the San Jose Clash. Albertin was also the coach of the 3-time State Cup Champions MVLA Mercury.  His passion and love of the game is absolutely contagious and the girls love his fresh approach to skill training and development.

The head coach for Thunder is Seth Alberico.  Seth was a college standout at St. Mary's and assistant coach for the Women's Premier Soccer League (WPSL) Sacramento Storm, whose roster includes such stars as Brandi Chastain, Leslie Osborne, Sissi, Shannon MacMillan and Stacey Alberico (yup, Seth's wife).  

We also have a significant number of parent-assistant coaches who have either received their soccer coaching credentials or have played collegiate level soccer themselves.  The overarching training philosophy is to teach ball management which gives the players confidence and composure over the ball.

Interested in trying out?  Want more information?
For more information about the Lightning team, please contact Erin Montoya at For more information about the Thunder or Hurricanes team, please contact Seth Alberico at