Academy Soccer Program
The Academy is ASA's most comprehensive program supporting players with over 250 hours of professionally guided on field and off field learning opportunities throughout the year. Teams train two to three times a week, compete in various tournaments during the year and are led by USSF/NSCAA licensed coaches who are selected by ASA Directors, Tommy Park and Chris Arnold, managed by the Academy Director Jennie Orloff and guided through our curriculum by the ASA Technical staff.
ASA prides itself on providing an intensely FUN, challenging, dynamic and progressive learning environment. Since professionalizing the club in 2011 the community of players, parents, coaches and staff have invested in a long term educational structure. ASA's nationally recognized training curriculum teaches possession based soccer in a sequential manner from age group to age group. By U15+ teams are able to execute the style of play at a fast paced competitive level preparing them for opportunities beyond high school.
The club is committed to supporting players at all levels within the Academy program. and in other programs throughout the club. Read more about the club's vision, mission and values here. And read about the Academy program curriculum, teaching didactics and program organization here.
The Academy program provides a unique platform to make a significant impact on each participant's life. Skill development through implementing our game model on the field is pivotol towards ensuring our players enjoy their competitive experience. The comprehensive platform provided by Academy soccer is first and foremost a medium to develop the whole person.
Academy program participants are challenged to:
ASA's goal is for each team to compete in a competitively appropriate environment that both challenges them and brings success. Our most advanced teams compete in Club Champions League (CCL) and selected teams also compete in Eastern Development Program (EDP) or National League. The majority of the Academy teams compete in the regionally recognized National Capital Soccer League (NCSL) or the Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL). As mentioned, ASA's first priority when selecting a league for each team is appropriate competition and overall player experience. Leagues are subject to change each year but the focus will remain the same.
Academy Support Staff:
ASA is committed to supporting the whole kid, mind and body. The Academy has invested in support staff to help keep kids mentally and physically strong. Throughout the season teams work with the mental training consultant and director of injury and fitness prevention to stay healthy and maintain peak performance.
Director of Injury Prevention & Fitness | Jenn Schwartz is a nationally-recognized injury prevention expert in youth soccer and owner of Impact Sports Science Group where she consults many types of athletes on injury prevention, rehabilitation, and sports performance optimization. Her clients vary from Alexandria Soccer players, NFL players to Olympians. She holds a Master's in Muscle Activation Techniques, Fitness, and Health Management, a BS in Pre-Physical Therapy, and is a certified Exercise Physiologist.
Mental Training Consultant | Robyn Kenney is a peak performance expert. She is also a former international athlete for Team USA (2002-2006) and a Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame recipient (2017). As the Director of Mind Body Athletics, she teaches mental skills to a variety of athletic teams to improve focus, resiliency, and confidence. Robyn has 14 years experience coaching at The Ohio State University, Virginia Wesleyan College, and TC Williams High School. She holds a MA in Energy & Environmental Analysis from Boston University and a certification as a Mindfulness Instructor from the Center of Koru Mindfulness.
Frequently Asked Questions:
At what age does the Academy start? The youngest age group in the Academy is U9 (players born in 2011) for both boys and girls. Players born in 2012 or 2013 may be interested in the Junior Academy!
How do tryouts work? On the first day of tryouts players will check-in and receive a tryout number. Coaches typically assess players during technical activities and small/large sided games. Players may be moved between fields in order to see them in different competitive environments and speeds of play. (Read about the tryout process from a club perspective).
NOTE: Parents will not be allowed inside the fence. Only players are allowed inside the facility during tryouts.
What should my child bring to tryouts? Please have your child wear a white or gray t-shirt along with cleats and shinguards. Players should bring water and a pumped up soccer ball.
What is tryout selection criteria?
Technical - Quality of first touch and comfort level on the ball
Tactical - Speed and quality of decision-making with and without the ball
Psychological - Composure, passion for the game, work ethic and mental toughness
Physical - Natural physical abilities
Commitment - excitemed to learn and attend learning opportunities (practices/games) annually
Can my child try out for an age group "up?" ASA's policy is for all players to try out for their true birth year age group unless given written permission from the Academy Director. If you have questions, please email Chris Arnold at email@example.com.
What is the time commitment for the Academy Program? Academy teams practice two to three times per week for 1.5 hours per session. Each team competes in a Fall and Spring league wherein they play eight games. Games are generally played on Sundays although they can be on Saturdays.
Fall season: Mid-August to Mid-November
Spring season: Mid-March to Mid-June
Three to four tournaments (generally one fall and two or three spring tournaments)
Can my child play other sports and activities? Absolutely! We encourage players to enjoy other sports and become a well-rounded person and competitor. Coaches do expect players to meet minimum participation expectations. Those should be discussed on a player by player basis with his or her coach.
Is my child "advanced" enough for Academy? If your kid loves soccer and has a desire to learn more we encourage him or her to attend tryouts! Allow the professional coaches to provide their recommendation as to what game and training environment (Academy, Ball Mastery, Rec or SFL) is appropriate for your child.
How much does the Academy program cost? Academy program costs vary based on age group and team. 2019-2010 season costs are estimated to be approximately $2000 per child for the season (this information will be communicated once finalized). Payments can be made in one lump or spread out over five (5) installments. The total cost for Academy soccer includes coaching fees, league fees, insurance, club fees, equipment costs, field permits, referees, and tournament fees. ASA operates with an all-inclusive approach wherein all costs are covered under the yearly fee.
All new players to the Academy are required to purchase an Adidas uniform (~$90-100) that typically lasts two years or four seasons.
Families who qualify for free or reduced lunch will qualify for a set scholarship price, as determined by ASA. Additional assistance is available through an application process with aid allocated on a sliding scale.
Questions about Academy soccer?
Contact ASA by emailing Deputy Director - Academy & Futsal Chris Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 703-684-5425.