This article was written by PrepSoccer staff writer, Matt Smith. Matt Smith is a special news and communications correspondent with SF Elite Academy and will providing viewers with an inside look into SF Elite and what makes our club so special.
Carson Shinn has something that not a lot of players have, and this gives her an advantage. That thing is a golden left foot. A left-footed player is an advantage almost like no other on the pitch, as this allows a player to be effective as a No. 5 or a No. 11. Shinn, who plays for coach Ali Hall's 2011 Blue Girls team, plays both spots, with her preference being on the wing where she feels energized and excited when she plays out wide.
Carson herself will tell you that she believes that opposing teams will notice how strong her left foot is, and along with their own teammates, they will notice that she puts in maximum effort. As a teammate, she is a passionate player, but she is friendly with all her teammates despite being competitive when on the pitch. The thing they may notice most is how happy when she's out there playing. "Carson is a hard-working player, very competitive and loves the goal," Hall said. "She gets a look in her eye when she is determined to score a goal. She's a good kid, she works hard for her teammates, she's respectful to her coaches and she always shows up." Carson has been playing for as long as she can remember. As a two-year old at her brother's games, she would play with a ball on the sidelines and starting playing competitively in the second grade. Being a competitive player, Carson wanted something that was taken seriously and after originally finding San Francisco Elite for the Futsal season, she is very happy to have found a club that is her home. "Our team is really fun and we really want to keep getting better as players," Carson said. I like Coach Ali (Hall) a lot. She is amazing as a person and as a coach. She is also a phenomenal soccer player. She is so cool." Her mom also saw the advantages of joining SF Elite because her daughter is super competitive. "Carson really wanted to play competitive soccer early on," her mother Kate Pratt said. "She has two older brothers who also play. Our main focus was finding a team that supported female athletes but also consisted of players that loved soccer and were committed to developing as a team. "Her team is a fantastic group of lovely girls and strong players. Coach Ali is an inspiration and is working hard to develop the girls individually and as a team. We are hoping Carson continues to develop as a player and continues to love soccer for a long time to come." And the value does not stop there. Carson and her mom see how much joy she gets out of playing for SF Elite and how much that it means to her. "Carson is a really joyful kid and soccer is really her happy place," Pratt said. "In a family of boys the female friendships and support she's gained from this team have been fantastic. We feel really lucky that she has such a strong group of friends and players outside of her school friends."