Whats going on with VA1 Soccer?

VA1 is a collaboration amongst local Northern Virginia clubs aimed at increasing opportunities and pathways for players in the region who show good progress in their development and have the ability to pursue playing at a higher level but might be limited due to a variety of personal or club based factors.  

 

The clubs involved are like-minded in their vision for player development and are committed to contributing equal amount of resources and staff support for the program.  VA1 will have a working methodology, and a highly qualified technical staff with varying degrees of experience ranging from technical player development, college recruiting experts, and both domestic and international experience.

 

VA1 is not a soccer club and doesn’t aspire to be; we believe in strength in numbers and the only way to achieve our mission is by having a bigger pool of resources that combines various groups, skills and coaches so that we can share ideas with the sole purpose of providing the best possible experience for players.

 

Previously, collaborations amongst clubs have been difficult to materialize or execute. With VA1, there is real intent and a strong commitment to develop a long-lasting and sustainable program that greatly benefits our players.

 

In coming together to form this collaboration, the clubs involved have agreed to pilot the program working with the below age groups as part of Phase One of the overall strategy. For this to work, we need to develop it organically and in phases, so that we can evaluate each stage and improve or adjust as needed.

 

Phase ONE 2019/2020

Girls:

  • U13, U14, U15, U16, U17/18 (Competitive Based with League and Showcase Tournaments)

Boys:

  • To begin in 2020

 

These groups are the priority because of the relevant and timely recruiting cycles for each gender. The goal is to help as many players as possible within our clubs navigate the recruiting process by participating in college informational meetings, individual attention meetings, and high level training and nationally recognized showcases and tournaments where we can ensure that each player’s strengths are highlighted within an age group or team system.

 

During Phase Two of the program, we will be looking to add other clubs on the girls side, and incorporate the boys program for all HS age players.

 

Phase TWO 2020/2021

Girls:

  • Addition of Other Partner Clubs (if interested in being a partner club please send email to va1@va1soccer.com

  • U12 Girls (Competitive based program with 11 a side Prep. More Training based with 2 tournaments per year.

Boys:

  • Fully Incorporate Boys U12-19 

 

The personalized thought process:

 

Northern Virginia is a heavily populated area with clubs, therefore we have a big talent pool that can compete and do well consistently in the regional and national arena if we pool talent together in a controlled, collaborative effort.

 

Players will tryout from the network of clubs, first to be selected into a training pool, and then teams within the age groups will be formed to compete locally, regionally, nationally, and on some occasions, internationally.

 

The genesis of the idea started with a series of discussions amongst directors about the number of talented players in the region who are falling through the cracks, and lack of information parents have to work with, which then ballooned into the idea of creating a collaborative cross-club solution. With more options, players have increased opportunities to find areas where fit that offers them the best chance to maximize exposure.

 

Players that have the desire and talent to play in the DA, will do so. But what happens to the others who for one reason are not able, or do not wish to choose that pathway? This is also why VA1 exists.

 

We will explore every opportunity to expose these players both domestically and internationally and will remain nimble to adjust as need be.

 

We feel optimistic about how the program can further evolve. There are several players who are certain about what they want to do and some of them are already part of the US DA system, which is great. Then there are others with the ability and drive who will be entering the DA system but can’t currently commit, and still even more players who can play at a high level but are unsure about which direction their soccer careers will take them. These undecided players are for whom VA1 was created.

We hope it will serve as a place for them to learn from high level coaches, further develop their skills, get increased exposure, and continue to navigate their future without added pressure. We believe we can provide them the same opportunity whether they end up graduating through the VA1 pathway or moving on to the DA if that’s what they decide to do.

 

Furthermore, VA1 will allow players to remain on their local competitive teams and in their local clubs and communities with their friends while at the same time getting a high level of training with other highly technical players. For select players, VA1 will also provide training opportunities throughout the year with professional clubs both locally and internationally as part of their development and evaluation process.

Whats New for 2020?

  • Personalized Player Evaluations

  • 1 on 1 Conversations to plan for player goals

  • Super Y Participation 

  • June announcement of additional Member Clubs!

  • International Trip Details

FAQs

  • What type of business is Virginia One

    • It is a non-profit 501(c)(3)​

  • What do the costs cover

    • Year round training

    • Uniforms

    • All tournaments​​

  • So are coaches getting paid?​

    • No. All our coaches and administrators are currently volunteers​

  • Can I still participate if I play for a non-member club?

    • No. But we are currently looking for like minded clubs interested in collaborating. Feel free to have your directors reach out to our staff.

  • So if no one is getting paid, and you are not trying to make a profit why are you doing this?​

    • Because we care about our players. And know that it is more about giving the players that want extra training, exposure and a diverse experience the opportunity without having to feel the burden of a huge added expense. 

  • How are coaches selected for teams?

    • Each club provides at least one elected coach to participate in VA1. Minimum qualifications are required, or the desire to continue education is a prerequisite. Like out players, we want our coaches to have a passion for the game and a desire to improve. 

  • How often do the teams train?

    • At least once a month, with additional training leading up to tournaments.  In 2020 we will be increasing training opportunities based on standards set per club agreement. 

  • Do players have to tryout every year?

    • During the tryout process, we try to select the most committed players and the plan is to continue growing so no we do not cut a player as long as they stay committed, and continue to maintain the level and interest for which they were selected. But when tournament rosters are selected the best/positionally specific 16-20 players will attend based on selection criteria.

  • How are conflicts handled between VA1 and club team obligations?

    • A players club and club team’s activities take priority over VA1 events. As part of the collaboration of like-minded clubs, VA1 does events and showcases that are outside of club team events. Furthermore, VA1 events are mostly showcases because theoretically not everyone on a club team is interested in playing at a higher level so those interested can use VA1 as an outlet. 

  • Can a player participate if they do not play for their club team?

    • No, every player involved in VA1 must be part of a club and on a club team.

For info on each clubs involvement and goals please contact your designated director.

 

Great Falls Reston

Rado Pletka

Technicaldirector@gfrsoccerclub.org

 

CYA Soccer

Dylan Sutherland: 

cyadylan@chantillyyouth.org

Virginia Revolution

Cory Hanks:

cory@varevolutionsoccer.com

If you are a club or an individual player that would like to be involved, please feel free to email any of the above, or register on the Registration page.