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Newton Girls Soccer is delighted to announce details for the 2016/2017 Academy Soccer Season.

The Academy Program is an invitation-only, year round program (fall, winter & spring) for our most highly skilled players who are seeking an additional competitive challenge and a developmental soccer experience beyond their NGS Travel team. The Academy teams are professionally coached and play every Sunday (fall & spring) in the NSL Northeast Soccer League. Players train once per week in the fall & spring.  This training is in addition to their two Travel team practices and Saturday Travel team game. During the winter season players continue their development, training once per week and playing weekend Futsal games.

Players who are not selected for an Academy team may be eligible for a Development Academy team.  Development teams are also formed by invitation only.  Players are professionally coached for one extra practice per week, in addition to their Travel team practices and games.  They do not participate in any extra games during the fall or spring.  They may play Futsal during the winter.

Click here for an Overview of all NGS Programs.


NGS Academy combines the best aspects of professionally-coached club soccer with the unique strengths of Newton Girls Soccer, including:

  • Highly-qualified, experienced coaches lead all practices and coach all games
  • Practices and home games in Newton
  • Focus on the four pillars of Player Development: Technical, Tactical, Physical and Psychological with the aim to maximize a player’s full potential
  • Emphasis on girl-centric and positive coaching
  • Academy Teams follow the ‘Play the NGS Way’ club style of play along with specific age group curriculum to create both a positive and competitive playing environment
  • Practices coordinated with NGS Travel team practice schedules to minimize conflicts 

Improvements and Additions for 2016-2017

  • Supplemental specialized skills clinics will further enhance and challenge our players’ development
  • Comprehensive Player Evaluations allow coaches and players to set goals and improve player progress
  • Professional goalkeeping training for those interested in playing in the goalie position
  • Monthly newsletter will highlight and celebrate our Academy teams as well as share pertinent program information


Coaching Assignment for 2016/2017 Soccer Season

Shaun McBrien (Grade 3 Development Academy & Grade 6 Academy):  Shaun is the Director of Coaching for NGS and is an accomplished coach holding a number of high level coaching licenses, including NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and UEFA B License. Shaun graduated from the University of Ulster in his native Northern Ireland with a BSc Sports Coaching and Development Degree after having played soccer at various levels including club, high school and college. Before moving to the USA in 2009 Shaun worked for the Irish Football Association coaching in schools, communities and at club level. Prior to joining Newton Girls Soccer, Shaun was formerly the Academy Director and South East Regional Director at PTUSA a professional soccer coaching organization on the South Shore, MA and was head coach of several girls and boys teams within this club. Shaun was recently awarded the MA Futsal Girls’ Coach of the Year 2015.

Alex Gerson (Grade 4 Academy & Grade 4 Development Academy & Grade 5 Development Academy):  Coach Alex is one of the Physical Education teachers at Oak Hill Middle School where he also coaches the Oak Hill Girls Soccer Team. In addition he has coached with NEFC since 2008 and has previously coached with the New York Red Bulls Academy and MLS Camps. Alex holds a USSF ‘E’ License and NSCAA Youth Level VI License. Alex has coached with NGS for the past 3 years within the Winter Skills Development program and as a Pro Trainer for the Travel program. Alex graduated with a degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University, 2007 and holds an Initial Massachusetts P.E. K-8 License.

Floyd Butler (Grade 5 Academy & Grade 7/8 Development Academy):  Floyd was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He earned a B.A. in English and Masters in Education from The Pennsylvania State University, before becoming a head coach for Futbol Club Pittsburgh, and Penn United, a nonprofit community soccer organization. Floyd moved to Boston in April 2014, and began coaching with NGS in August of 2014.

Since joining the NGS family, Floyd has coached and or assisted with Academy, Developmental Academy, and Travel teams across a variety of age groups. Floyd currently plays amateur soccer for Washington Square FC, in the BSSL, Boston’s premiere adult amateur league. He has two National Coaching Licenses and is currently working towards obtaining more. Floyd also teaches in the Newton Public School system, and was an assistant coach for the Day Middle School girls’ soccer team in 2015. His playing experience and educational background are clearly illustrated in his coaching philosophy and style, which focuses predominantly on development and love for the game.

Ashley Perry (Grade 6 Development Academy):  Soccer has always been Ashley’s passion. Having played on competitive/varsity teams in high school, she continued to play on competitive teams throughout college. She has played in the US, Australia and New Zealand. Coaching was a natural progression for Ashley; she has coached boys and girls, ranging from U5 to Varsity High School. In 2014, Ashley moved to MA and began working with Newton Girls Soccer. In addition to soccer, Ashley loves to sail, and was a member of the New Zealand Olympic sailing team. She also has a Master’s in Education, and in addition to coaching, is a Research Associate at Brandeis University.

Caleb Thomson (Head Coach, Grade 7/8 Academy):  Caleb is the Varsity Soccer Coach and Director of the Soccer Camp at the Fessenden School in W. Newton. He was the head coach for his older daughter’s Newton Girls Soccer U14 team which won the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions (MTOC) while coaching with Owen Pennant-Jones.

Owen Pennant-Jones (Assistant Coach, Grade 7/8 Academy):  Owen is the Newton South Girls’ Varsity Assistant Coach (since 2000) and has been a professional trainer for years for numerous NGS teams, most recently the 1401 team for the last two seasons. He coached with Caleb’s U14 team which won the MTOC in 2011.

Vasili Uspensky (Goalkeeper Coach):  Vasili joins the NGS soccer staff as the Goalkeeper Coach with over 11 years of coaching experience.

Prior to joining NGS, Vasili worked as Soccer Community Director and Partnerships Manager at the Boston-based startup CoachUp (offering 30+ sports and 16,000 qualified coaches nationwide) overseeing important relationships with major and minor sports leagues (NBA, NFL, MLS, MLB, USOC, and others) helping retired players find avenues to start coaching after their professional careers had ended. Vasili is also the top CoachUp Goalkeeper Coach in Massachusetts and 42rd overall in USA Soccer (out of 3,000+ coaches). Vasili is featured in the Goalkeeping Tutorial Videos with 250,000+ views 

Vasili holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University where he played and contributed to a CAA Championship and a Top Ten US ranking in Soccer. His undergraduate degree was in International Business Management with Minors in Russian and Spanish Language Studies (2007). Post college, Vasili had a brief stint with the Richmond Rowdies as a semi-professional before deciding to pursue a career in the business world. After two years working in Russia, Vasili returned to the #1 ranked VCU Brandcenter to get a Master’s Degree in Creative Brand Management (2011). Vasili was born in Moscow, Russia to a Russian father and Peruvian mother.

In 2012, Vasili co-founded the Boston Kickers, a youth soccer club that has had over 1,000 players participate across the Greater Boston Area (

Vasili also spent three years with The Winsor School (a top national private girls school in Boston) Varsity Soccer Program as an Assistant/Goalkeeper Coach. He holds a USSF ‘D’ License.


Important Details 

Academy Teams

This program is for skilled, dedicated players who are committed to playing in the fall, winter and spring and has high expectations for attendance at both practice and games.

Fall and Spring Season

1 x 90-minute session a week on Wednesdays (Tuesdays for Grade 4 for the fall season and Wednesdays for the spring season.)

1 x Sunday NSL game (Grades 4 & 5 have morning games and Grades 6 & 7/8 have afternoon games)

Most Academy Teams will be competing in 3 tournaments throughout the year (this will include a Memorial Day Tournament)

Winter Season

1 x weeknight practice (Tuesdays for 7/8th grade, Wednesday or Thursday for all other teams)

1 x weekend Futsal game in Newton or nearby towns (Saturday for 3rd-6th grade & Sunday for 7/8th grade Sunday)


Development Academy Teams

Depending on interest per age group we offer a training-only development program for skilled, dedicated players who aren’t quite ready for an Academy Team.

Fall and Spring Season

1 x 90-minute practice fall and spring (Tuesdays or Wednesdays)

**No Sunday games

Winter Season

1 x weeknight practice (Wednesday or Thursday)

1 x Saturday Futsal game in Newton or nearby town.



Another unique aspect of the NGS Academy is its affordability compared to for-profit private clubs.  The cost of the Academy program includes coaching and league fees for three seasons: fall, winter and spring. Two tournaments are also included for Academy teams.

  • Academy teams Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6 & Grades 7/8: $1,475 (Fees include training outdoors in fall/spring, indoor gym space in winter, two sessions of winter Futsal, and two tournaments.)
  • Development teams: $600 (Fees include training outdoors in fall/spring, indoor gym space in winter and two sessions of winter Futsal. Tournaments are NOT included in this fee.)



All Uniforms Travel, IM and Academy must be ordered through the NGS Online Store.  For additional information, go to  The Academy uniform consists of home and away jerseys, shorts, and socks.  Training jacket and pants are optional and can be purchased separately.


Invitation Process

Spaces in the Academy program are limited and are offered solely on the basis of soccer development level. There is no separate tryout for Academy teams — spots will be offered to the highest ranked players based on NGS Assessment results along with coaching evaluations by Academy Coaches, the NGS Director of Coaching and the NGS professional coaching staff.

In early June, the NGS Academy will extend Academy team invitations to the highest ranked players. Families will then have 48 hours to accept or decline the offer.  Invitations will be extended as needed to fill each team’s roster with our goal of completing this process by the middle of June.  After the Academy teams are full, we will fill our Development Academy teams using the same process.



Email the NGS Academy Committee, academy (at)



Shaun Academy