The D.C. United Pre-Academy U-13 Team won the Arlington ASIST Tournament over the past weekend. Below freezing temperatures, brutal winds, looming winter storm TITAN, and a freezing rain final didn’t stop the U-13s from bringing home some hardware.
The ASIST Tournament pits many local teams up against each other, creating many crosstown rival matchups throughout the three-day tournament. The D.C. United U-13s played a very familiar team in their first match of the tournament, the Arlington United Red. These two teams aren’t bitter rivals, but rather partners in cultivating youth talent in DC. Arlington Soccer Association is a D.C. United Academy Affiliate club that helps identify, develop and monitor players in the Maryland, Virginia and DC area. The matchup allowed for two talented programs to test each other as well as see the fruition of their hardworking partnership.
“It’s a lot of fun to see our two teams competing against one another in our tournament,” said Frank DeMarco, the Arlington Soccer Association Assistant Director of Coaching. “It’s great to get out and see a great group of kids playing. They have a lot of enthusiasm for the game, and enjoy playing each other.”
A collaboration between Arlington Soccer Association and D.C. United recently allowed for Arlington Impact Red’s Lucas Mendes to be placed into the D.C. United Academy system. The relationship between the two clubs provided Mendes the opportunity to continue his player development. The program gives affiliates clubs access to D.C. United coaches, staff and training methods and also gives affiliate players opportunities to come train and possibly play for the D.C. United Academy.
“The affiliate partnership with D.C. United has been great,” said DeMarco. “It’s provides us a lot of opportunities in terms of exchanging players and collaborating with the D.C. United coaching staff. Our relationship will only continue to grow in the coming years.”
The Black-and-Red U-13s and the Arlington United Red squad provided a fast paced game that gave players the chance to shine on an otherwise cold and blustery night. The two teams warmed up on opposites ends of the pitch, but came together shortly before the first whistle to get a photo to show the unity and partnership that has formed between the two clubs. Once done with their photo obligations, the two teams took the field to display and test their talents against one another in the ASIST Tournament.