Washington D.C. (June 5, 2013) – D.C. United and the Stafford Area Soccer Association (Stafford Soccer) – in conjunction with adidas – today announced an affiliate agreement, the fifth of its kind for D.C. United and a youth soccer club. Under the affiliation agreement, Stafford Soccer will serve as a source for D.C. United in identifying and developing the top youth talent in the region. United will share its coaching resources and will work with Stafford Soccer to follow its training curriculum and system of play. Top players in the Stafford Soccer system, identified by both D.C. United and Stafford Soccer, will have the opportunity to be integrated into D.C. United’s Academy system, with a strong priority being placed on the U-14, U-16 and U-18 age groups.
“We are continuing to build some great momentum with our Affiliate Program and expanding our outreach to the regional player pool,” said Sonny Silooy, D.C. United’s Director of Youth Development. “Stafford Soccer is another club that we have been talking to for some time, and we look forward to working with them, and all of the Affiliate clubs, to make the area and our club much stronger for the future.”
“We are delighted to ink the affiliation agreement with D.C. United Academy, which is the highest level on the boys side of youth soccer,” said Kyle Lessig, Stafford Soccer’s Director of Coaching. “D.C. United’s Academy offers a level of programming that our best male athletes can strive to achieve, and United’s curriculum matches closely with our club curriculum.”
In addition to the player identification and development component of the affiliate agreement, Stafford Soccer will be outfitted with D.C. United and adidas-branded training gear, uniforms and coaching gear, and will receive special D.C. United ticketing opportunities for players and their families.
“The United States has some of the best athletic talent in the world, and it's our goal to provide homegrown athletes with opportunities to play elite soccer,” said Ernesto Bruce, Director of Soccer for adidas America. “With our recent extension of the Major League Soccer contract, we have put the importance of youth development at a premium, and are excited about helping create Youth Club Alliances with local MLS clubs. This partnership between Stafford Soccer, D.C. United and adidas will prove to be a great step in developing the next generation of American soccer icons.”
"Adding Stafford Soccer as the fifth youth soccer partner of the D.C. United Academy marks another positive step in the development of strategically integrated business initiatives," said Doug Hicks, D.C. United's Chief Marketing Officer. "This agreement further enhances the club's overarching goals, and we look forward to engaging with other likeminded organizations for future collaboration."
Additionally, D.C. United will hold its inaugural “Affiliate Night” when the Black-and-Red hosts the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, June 22. Members from any of United’s five youth soccer partners will have the opportunity to meet a D.C. United player for autographs and pictures, and will be presented on the field during player introductions. Additionally, affiliate members will be able to take advantage of $20 sideline tickets.
Included in D.C. United’s “Affiliate Night” promotion:
· $20 sideline tickets for all members of D.C. United’s affiliate clubs
· Meeting with and receiving photos and autographs from a D.C. United players
· Take photos with MLS Cup trophy and D.C. United backdrop
· Participate in Team Touchline (For first 150 kids to register; sign up by contacting the relevant D.C. United sales representative)
About Stafford Soccer
Stafford Soccer, a nonprofit club of 2,500 members, is primarily focused on player development, offering three levels of play from U-5 to U-19, servicing Stafford County, Va., and the surrounding areas. As a top-notch educational-athletic organization, Stafford Soccer provides a high-quality experience for every athlete. Stafford Soccer is dedicated to providing financial aid and scholarships for players in all of its programs.
Prominent Past Stafford Soccer Players:
· Bobby Foglesong (Richmond Kickers, USL PRO)
· Nick Foglesong (Old Dominion University)
· Nik Conklin (LIU Brooklyn)
· Robby Davis (University of Mary Washington)