Boyds, MD (March 29, 2018) – The Washington Spirit Academy has finalized plans to launch a girls Pre-Academy program for the U9-U12 age groups, in partnership with Great Falls – Reston Soccer Club (GFR), starting in Fall 2018.
The program will expand the Spirit Academy’s existing U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy partnership with Reston Soccer, which recently merged with Great Falls Soccer. Through the partnership with the newly-formed Great Falls – Reston Soccer Club, the Spirit Academy expands its reach in the Northern Virginia community while providing more players with instruction from the Spirit’s U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy coaching staff.
“We are thrilled to announce this next element of our pathway,” said Spirit Academy – Virginia Technical Director Tom Torres. “Providing a Spirit training environment for Zone 1 has been a goal since the beginning of our involvement as a development academy club. Building on our GFR partnership has made this a reality. Our staff is looking forward to having players in the program at the start of their player development journey with the focus of helping them progress to the DA and beyond.”
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Each week, GFR Spirit Pre-Academy teams will participate in one training session led by members of the Spirit Academy coaching staff, in addition to two training sessions led by those teams’ full-time GFR coaches.
“Over time, the aim is to integrate the Spirit coaches and trainers into our program which will give the us the quality coaching and instruction these players need,” said Reston Soccer Club President Richard Shelton. “The Great Falls-Reston merger also enables our local players to play in a community based program, but gives them leverage to move from NCSL, to NPL and eventually to the DA if that’s the pathway their ability and commitment to the game allows them to achieve. I see this as a win-win for our current players, and those that choose to come and play in our club, to have a shot at being a premier player.”
Beginning in the fall, GFR Spirit teams will be open for players in the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 birth year age groups. The Pre-Academy program will seek to provide players with the work ethic and technical skills necessary to develop into a Development Academy player.
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“Our merger with Reston Soccer allows us to provide a better service to the community, with better programs, more variety, and a larger pool of kids to work with so that we can provide them better developmental options,” said Great Falls Soccer Technical Director Radovan Pletka.
“To add to this merger, we are thrilled to partner with a professional organization such as the Washington Spirit Academy, with its mission of playing great soccer and empowering women, Pletka continued. “Our kids, the club, and our coaching staff will get to work with a professional organization and its coaching staff, to help provide a good road map as we look to grow.”
ID Sessions for all of the girls GFR teams in the 2007-2009 age groups, including the GFR Spirit teams, will begin in April 2018. The GFR Spirit teams will compete in the Virginia Premier League beginning in the fall of 2018. Registration will be available shortly on RestonSoccer.com.
About The Washington Spirit’s U.S. Soccer Development Academy
The Washington Spirit operates the only two U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy programs in the greater Baltimore / Washington Metropolitan areas that are connected directly to a professional women’s soccer club in the National Women’s Soccer League. Some of the most talented players throughout the region – including several U.S. Youth National Team members – compete on our teams in both the Northern Virginia and Maryland areas.
About Great Falls – Reston Soccer Club (GFR)
Great Falls and Reston Soccer clubs recently merged to form a new club that will be fully operational in the fall of 2018. By merging, the club has added a larger base of players across their Recreation and Travel Programs. Combining the number of fields from both clubs will also increase the footprint of the club. The new club hopes to capitalize on the current strengths of both organizations; a strong travel organization from Great Falls and a robust Recreation Program in Reston to provide quality Programs and teams across the U5-U19 age ranges.