Albertin Montoya fits the bill to lead NWSL newcomer Bay FC

Bay FC, the San Francisco area club that begins NWSL play in 2024, has named as head coach Albertin Montoya, a longtime Bay Area youth club coach and director who also guided FC Gold Pride to the 2010 Women’s Professional Soccer championship.

Montoya, who moved to the Bay Area with his family at age 6 from Cuba, is a longtime coach and director of Mountain View Los Altos SC (MVLA), the club he played for as a youth and on a team coached by his father, Alberto, that won the 1993 McGuire Cup.

After college (North Carolina State, Santa Clara) and pro ball (Raleigh Flyers, San Jose Clash), Montoya returned to MVLA, where he and his wife Erin (née Martinez), who starred at Santa Clara and played professionally in the WUSA, helped it become among the nation's premier girls clubs.

Amid his work with MVLA, Montoya coached Women’s Premier Soccer League's California Storm (1999-2006) before taking charge of the FC Gold Pride of WPS — the USA's second women's pro league, sandwiched by the WUSA and NWSL.

A last-place finisher in 2009, the Gold Pride under Montoya went down in history as one of the most entertaining pro women's teams as it lifted the 2010 WPS title with a squad including Marta, Tiffeny Milbrett, Christine Sinclair, Kelley O'Hara, Shannon Boxx, Rachel Buehler and Ali Riley.

After winning the WPS title, Montoya returned to coaching at MLVA, including U-9 girls. The Gold Pride folded shortly after its championship win and the WPS lasted only one more season.

Montoya bacame U.S. U-17 women's national team coach after it had failed to qualify for the 2010 U-17 World Cup. He coached the USA at the 2012 U-17 World Cup after guiding it to the Concacaf Championship title.

Montoya returned to pro coaching as interim head coach of the NWSL’s Washington Spirit for the final stretch of the 2022 NWSL season.

“Albertin has strong roots in the rich tradition of Bay Area soccer," Bay FC co-founder Aly Wagner said in statement upon Montoya's hiring. "He has been a leader in focusing on the technical pillar of development, which is a critical piece to bringing the beautiful game to life.”

Montoya, born in Cuba in 1975, was one of about 125,000 Cubans who fled to the United States during the 1980 Mariel Boatlift. Albertin's grandfather, who had immigrated to Northern California in the 1970s, had paid for a boat to collect his son’s family. That led to Albertin's family settling in the Bay Area city of Mountain View, where he and his father hooked up with MLVA.

• SA Reading: Albertin Montoya: 'At the younger age groups, train everyone to be a midfielder' (2018)

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