D.C. United have announced that they have joined forces with top local clubs in the DMV area to form the “Pathway 2 Pro” program (P2P). The partnership, in conjunction with D.C. United and elite youth soccer clubs across the DMV, will provide top players from the Under-12 through Under-14 age groups a clear pathway to the professional level with support from local partnered clubs both on and off the field.
“We would like to thank our local club partners for their collaboration in this exciting new program.” Dave Kasper, United General Manager and VP of Soccer Operations, said. “We now have a true pathway for player development that will excite and motivate players to follow their dreams of professional soccer. Our goals are to identify top talent in the DMV, provide players with a better development experience than they currently have, and sign Homegrown players to professional contracts with Loudoun United and D.C. United.”
D.C. United recently announced the construction of a world class training facility in Loudoun County, VA, and a new United Soccer League (USL) affiliate starting in 2019, Loudoun United. The DMV P2P program will ensure that top players in the region will be identified at an early age and are supported in their development that begins with local recreational leagues and advances to D.C. United partner clubs, the D.C. United Academy, Loudoun United and ultimately the Black-and-Red’s first team roster.
“The Pathway 2 Pro program will be integral to our player development program in the DMV,” Ryan Martin, D.C. United Academy Director, said. “The program will be an essential tool in helping us identify and develop top talent in the DMV which is one of the most talented regions in the country.”
Through the partnership, players with affiliated clubs (Loudoun Soccer, Arlington Soccer Association, Player Progression Academy, Virginia Development Academy, Pipeline Soccer Club) selected into the DMV P2P program will work with top coaches on their journey to the professional ranks. They will train alongside the best players in the region and participate in elite youth tournaments like the Generation adidas Cup and the International Champions Cup Futures tournament.
Based on performance with their individual clubs, players will be invited to monthly training sessions with other high-performing players from other P2P clubs and the D.C. United Academy. They will get the opportunity to play with the best players in the area in order to compete at the highest levels of youth soccer.
The program will also serve as an opportunity for coaches in the area to collaborate with the D.C. United technical staff in order to maximize their impact on the development of participating players in the DMV. Area coaches will also gain increased access to D.C. United and new 2019 United Soccer League (USL) side Loudoun United training sessions along with coaching resources to aid in youth development.
Mark Ryan, Loudoun Soccer, Technical Director:
“Loudoun Soccer is delighted to enter into the DMV P2P partnership with D.C. United and the other youth club members. This partnership will provide players in the DMV with a pathway to the professional level. We are excited to be a part of the player development framework for our youth”
Michael Worden, Player Progression Academy (PPA), Founder:
"PPA is thrilled to be involved in developing real opportunities for our players to reach the highest levels of play. With this new P2P Pathway, we believe the right pieces are in place to make dreams a reality for special players in the DMV. PPA is committed to this cause."
German Peri, Arlington Soccer Association, Director of Travel Coaching:
"We are looking forward to continuing our relationship with D.C. United through the P2P program. We want to provide the best developmental platform for our youth and having a pathway into the professional ranks is an essential piece in achieving that for our players. We are also very excited about the opportunity to work along side all the P2P clubs for the betterment of our youth soccer landscape.”
Mike Cullina, Virginia Development Academy, Executive Director:
“The Mission of Virginia Development Academy is to be a ‘full-service organization to help all players reach their maximum potential.’ Joining the Pathway to Pro Program and partnering with the other top clubs in the DMV provides a meaningful pathway for the best players to become professionals while establishing a process for and in the best interest of all our players and teams as well as Prince William Soccer and Virginia Soccer Association.”
Santino Quaranta, Pipeline Soccer Club, Founder:
“Myself and Sean Rush, along with our collective staff are thrilled to be a part of the P2P concept. I was fortunate to play many years with D.C. United’s first team and now seeing young players from Pipeline with access to the same dream is fantastic.”
- Increase the incentive for players to show up and train/compete on a daily basis to be pushed into a P2P session/camp.
- Push players out of their comfort zones to compete with and against other local players for spots in elite events.
- Extra training and match opportunities with and against the best players in the region throughout the year.
- Having top local coaches from the P2P working with the players throughout the year.
- Opportunity for top players to be on the professional track without the player leaving the club until 15-years-old.
- Opportunity for coaching staff to run sessions and lead trips in the P2P.
- Access to D.C. United and Loudoun United training sessions and matches.
- Social media and club promotion possibilities.
- Increased access and conversations for coaching development.
- Talented Players interested in joining the P2P program must come from one of the six affiliated clubs.