D.C. United and the Arlington Soccer Association (ASA) – in conjunction with adidas – today announced an affiliate agreement, the sixth of its kind for D.C. United and a youth soccer club. Under the affiliation agreement, Arlington 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 Arlington Soccer to follow its training curriculum and system of play. Top players in the Arlington Soccer system, identified by both D.C. United and Arlington 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.
“The relationship with Arlington Soccer Association is important to the future of our Affiliate Program, the Academy and our club,” said D.C. United Director of Youth Development Sonny Silooy. “They are our closest Virginia neighbor and will be a large part of everything we do in the future. Their club boasts one of the area’s finest coaching staffs, tremendous facilities and a high-quality player pool. Their players have proven their quality in numerous club, state and ODP competitions, not just in results, but in their style of play. We look forward to sharing our methods and working with their staff to improve the quality of player that comes from this region.
“The Arlington Soccer Association is excited about this new arrangement with D.C. United and United’s Academy Program,” said ASA’s Director of Travel Coaching German Peri. “This presents a fabulous opportunity for ASA and D.C. United to share resources to achieve mutual goals of developing the best quality players and coaches in our area. The affiliation allows ASA access to D.C. United’s professional coaching curriculum and methodologies, and it bolsters ASA's relationship with the local professional team. In turn, D.C. United will also benefit from ASA’s talented player pool and developmental program. The partnership is a mutually beneficial arrangement that will make both programs better moving forward.”
In addition to the player identification and development component of the affiliate agreement, Arlington Soccer will be outfitted with D.C. United and adidas-branded training gear, uniforms and coaching gear. Affiliates also 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 Arlington Soccer Association, D.C. United and adidas will prove to be a great step in developing the next generation of American soccer icons.”
"Adding ASA as the sixth youth soccer partner of the D.C. United Academy marks another positive step in the development of strategically integrated business initiatives," said D.C. United Chief Marketing Officer Doug Hicks. “With such a wide reach to the talent pool in the region, the affiliation with ASA will greatly enhance the club’s overarching goals, specifically in regards to youth development.”
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)
D.C. United will also hold its first monthly Affiliate Club meeting on Wednesday, June 19 at RFK Stadium, an additional example of continual activation.
About the Arlington Soccer Association
The Arlington Soccer Association is a volunteer-based nonprofit soccer organization of over 6,500 players whose mission is to provide quality soccer programs to meet the needs of people of all abilities, backgrounds and financial means, and to advocate for the advancement of soccer in Arlington and surrounding communities. Founded in 1970, ASA offers a wide range of soccer programs year round, including Travel, Developmental, Recreational, TOPSoccer and the Real Madrid Social-Sport Academy Program, a no-cost after school soccer program involving at-risk children.
Current and past Arlington Soccer Association players in D.C. United’s Academy System:
- Nathan Abraham (Arlington, Va.)
- Tyler Back (Falls Church, Va.)
- Iyassu Bekele (Arlington, Va.)
- Mikias Eticha (Falls Church, Va.)
- Allan Flott (Arlington, Va.)
- Alex Herrera (Arlington, Va.)
- Marco Hurtado (Falls Church, Va.)
- Kevin Jimenez (Alexandria, Va.)
- Michael Katz (Arlington, Va.)
- Michael Monahan (Falls Church, Va.)
- Kody Palmer (Centreville, Va.)
- Alberto Polo-Herrera (Arlington, Va.)
- Nick Smirniotopoulous (Falls Church, Va.)
- Joey Wilkins (McLean, Va.)