D.C. United have announced an exclusive partnership through the Major League Development Association (MLDA) with Virginia-based soccer club Virginia Beach City FC (VB City FC) including its First Team and youth academy, in an effort to improve player advancement for a professional pathway starting at a young age.
"We're excited and optimistic about building a strong partnership with Virginia Beach City FC," Ryan Martin, director of United's academy, said. "The club and region of Virginia has produced top class soccer prospects in the past and we're excited to work with the club to create the ideal pathway to professional soccer and specifically Major League Soccer for the elite soccer players in the Tidewater region."
Through the partnership, both D.C. United and VB City FC will cooperate to combine and enhance resources for player development, with the top players in the area transitioning to the United developmental academy at an age to be determined.
"We are excited for the opportunity to collaborate with D.C. United. I have a lot of respect for their organization", stated Virginia Beach City FC Owner, Steven Wagoner. "We will work with D.C. United on best practices, innovative concepts to showcase the sport and our elite players, and continue our mission to provide the full player development pathway in our community”
The two clubs will stage annual scrimmages against each other and United coaching staff will lead educational sessions for VB City FC academy coaches while also expanding the scouting network between both clubs. VB City FC will also stage United Talent Centers, where the top players in the area, regardless of club affiliation, will be coached and identified by United coaching staff.
For more information on Virginia Beach City FC, please click here.