We are proud to announce that Claire Hutton will be representing the Capital Region as part of the U16 US Youth National Team with her recent invitation to the USYNT's virtual training camp. Claire has been a member of the Albany Alleycats since she was 9 years old as part of our 2004 NL Red team, and we are beyond happy to see her effort over the years get rewarded to have the opportunity to show her skills at the national level.
This opportunity is well deserved for Claire after the body of work she has put in over the years. With the Alleycats, Claire has been a part of teams that were ranked as the top team in NY at different points in time over the past 4 years (2005 NL Red and 2004 NL Red), with the 2004 NL Red team ranking as a top 10 team nationally in the last full season pre-COVID (2018-19).
As part of the 2005 NL Red team, her and her teammates twice were the Northeast Regional Futsal champions. Claire parlayed her experience and passion for futsal into earning a spot on and eventually captaining the US Youth Futsal National team at her age group (2006) when they traveled to Portugal in 2019. 2019 also saw Claire called up to represent the East Region ODP program, make the East Regional select team that played in the International Champions Cup Futures Tournament, and participate in the US Club regional ID event.
Locally, Claire has played varsity soccer for Bethlehehem high school the past two years, where she was a starter as a 7th and 8th grader, bringing the team to the state finals in 7th grade and state playoffs in 8th grade. Both years she was named All-Suburban Council First team, a Section 2 All-Star, and first team All NY State in Class AA. Additionally, her 8th grade year she broke the Bethlehem single season goal scoring record and was also named Suburban Council player of the year as well as NY State Class AA player of the year.
Prior to the pandemic shutting everything down, Claire had been invited into ODP and US Club national team identification events. Despite the disappointment and uncertainty of those missed opportunities and the delay in the USYNT cycle, when things closed down, she continued to diligently work on her game any and every chance she can get.
As Anson Dorrance eloquently put it, "The vision of a champion is someone who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion when nobody else is watching." We have seen that vision in you Claire over the years, from perfecting the rainbow at the Clifton Park tournament, mastering the around the world at the Syracuse tournament, or just lugging around your bag of soccer balls larger then you are to work on your skills and your shooting whenever you can find space at Afrims. Claire, we wish you nothing but the best as you pursue this next step in your soccer journey, and you know you have the support of your Alleycat family as you embark on this quest. Keep working hard, dreaming big, and wearing your heart on your sleeve in the pursuit of your passion with soccer. Put your faith in yourself and know that we have no doubts from seeing it over the years, with every opportunity and challenge put in front of you, you have attacked it with a relentless determination and shined brighter and brighter time after time. We're excited to see you do so again with the US Youth National Team!