Alexandria Soccer Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established in 1970 in Alexandria, Virginia. ASA operates in the City of Alexandria, Virginia, and offers soccer programs for children ages two through nineteen. ASA programs are intended to develop good character, mental and physical fitness, and interpersonal skills through soccer activities. Sportsmanship, social skills, and self-esteem are developed by player participation and regular interaction with volunteer and professional coaches.
Vision: Be the gold standard for community based soccer clubs -- creating a lifelong love of soccer and impacting the community beyond the sport.
Mission: The mission of Alexandria Soccer Association is to provide high quality instructional soccer and futsal programs that develop and motivate youth, build character, and make a positive impact on Alexandria and the surrounding communities.
Strategic Objectives (2016):
Fast Facts About Alexandria Soccer Association (ASA)
|Thomas Park||Executive Director|
|Cindy Lopez||Office Manager|
|Chris Arnold||Director of Youth Development|
|Ryan Rich||Technical Director|
|Jim Hogan||Director of Recreation & Programs|
|Will Hanna||Field Coordinator|
|Paul Park||Outreach Coordinator|
|Grigor Boychev||Academy Director|
|Rick Wilcox||Director of Goalkeeping|
For technical staff and coaching staff bios, click here.
Two things that stand out about the Alexandria Soccer Association are its well-rounded and experienced coaching staff, and commitment to players on and off the pitch.
The Program and Travel league coaches are all USSF/NSCAA licensed coaches who are overseen by the clubs impressive technical staff. The club currently boasts four "A" licensed coaches, five "B" licensed coaches and a host of National Youth and "C" licensed coaches on staff. Recreation coaches are provided in-house coaching clinics and USSF Coaching education courses. ASA has approximately 35 professional travel coaches and 250 volunteer coaches and coordinators.
When it comes to looking after the players, ASA has shown it is dedicated to making sure they all have the opportunity to be successful on the soccer field and in life. The club hosts over 1,000 kids whose families qualify for the city’s free lunch program, for whom ASA parents and community partners help provide the opportunity to play soccer with well supported scholarship fundraising efforts. Throughout the year, ASA hosts multiple community outreach initiatives at schools and organizations to promote the game to all children, regardless of financial status or skill level.
ASA programs are available to children and young adults ages 2-19. In addition to travel and rec divisions, the club offers year-round supplemental skills training programs for all age groups. For the youngest participants (ages 2-4 years old), the club hosts year round Tots Soccer classes. During the Winter months, the club hosts an indoor futsal league for ages (5-18). In addition, ASA offers a program called TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer), which is a community-based soccer program for young athletes with disabilities.
On the field, ASA is committed to a “progressive possession” style of play. “Progressive Possession” refers to keeping possession of the ball for the purpose of finding and exploiting opportunities to attack forward whenever possible. Teams are expected to build attacks from the back, which means utilizing the goalkeeper and defenders to cycle the ball and switch the point of attack to find areas of the field where their teams have numerical superiority.
As the ball is advanced, ASA coaches encourage players to show more creativity and take 1v1 or 2v1 chances to generate scoring chances. When the ball is lost, they focus on instantly transitioning to a defensive mentality of pressing quickly and winning the ball back as soon as possible to limit counterattacks.
“This philosophy and style is emphasized club wide regardless of the league, tournament, program or class,” said Executive Director Thomas Park. “The value of emphasizing the ‘ASA Style’ across all programs with an in-depth curriculum has been evident in the enjoyment level for the kids and their ability to play a quality brand of soccer.”
Since Park’s hiring in the summer of 2011, he and the ASA staff have been dedicated to professionalizing and improving the league experience and quality of programs. This includes working individually with all the 2,500 rec league players, 850+ Futsal league players and 675+ players in the travel programs spread across the Washington Area Girls Soccer League (WAGS), National Capital Soccer League (NCSL) and Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL).
Among the top players to have benefited previously from playing in the ASA program include Jorge Calix of the U18 USA and U20 Honduras National team player pools, and Nate Burkey of the Philippines Senior National Team. Both went to the city's public high school T.C. Williams who are the 2014 Virginia 6A State Champions. Many of the students who played on this State Championship team are ASA travel players.
ASA is also helping building its brand by hosting tournaments on some of its home fields, including the Alexandria Soccer Kickoff “ASK” Tournament held in the beginning of the Spring season. The tournament is held at locations throughout the city, including Ben Brenman turf field, Fort Ward turf field, Hammond turf field, Simpson Bermuda grass fields and Witter Athletic Complex.
In total, ASA plays on nine turf fields and two premium Bermuda grass fields that are shared with all youth and adult sports activities through the City of Alexandria. According to Park, ASA invests heavily in maintaining these facilities by ensuring the equipment at each field is age appropriate and of exceptional quality.
Park and the rest of the ASA staff expect to continue expanding and improving the overall quality of all ASA programs in the coming years.
“The club hopes to sustain and expand its ability to provide all youth and adults an opportunity to participate in soccer at every level,” Park said. “Important initiatives including expanding after school programs, winter and summer Futsal leagues and attracting additional community partners and sponsors. For the most competitive players in the Travel program, ASA will provide them with the technical and tactical foundation to compete and progress through the club level and beyond.”
About Our Programs
The ASA recreational league stresses development and equal-participation. The ASA “house” recreational program serves ages five through twelve with teams competing weekly against other ASA teams. The Suburban Friendship League (SFL) is also part of the ASA recreational soccer program and serves older players, ages thirteen to nineteen, by giving them the opportunity to compete against other local soccer clubs in the Northern Virginia region. All recreational league teams are coordinated and coached by parent and community volunteers.
Each year, players are given the opportunity to try out for ASA’s travel soccer program, which includes professionally coached advanced teams for boys and girls ages U9 through U18. The travel program enters teams in the National Capital Soccer League (NCSL), the Washington Area Girls’ Soccer League (WAGS), and the Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL). Participation on travel teams is based on ability, which is determined by coaches at tryouts.
In addition to the recreational and travel teams, ASA offers supplemental skills training programs year-round for all age groups. Program offerings are as follows: Tots Soccer (Ages 2 through 4), U5/U6 Skills, U7/U8 Challenge, U9-U12 Player Development Program, and Goalkeeper Training.
ASA offers a program called TOPSoccer (The Outreach Program for Soccer), which is a community-based soccer program for young athletes with disabilities. The goal of TOPSoccer is to enable children with disabilities to become valued members of the ASA soccer family. The ASA TOPSoccer program focuses on team participation and having fun. The program is available for children ages five through eighteen and their families.
ASA also offers coaching clinics, referee instruction, festival events and parent education programs intermittently throughout the year.
Other Important Information
ASA believes that every child, regardless of family financial situation, should have the opportunity to play soccer. ASA awards financial aid when players are eligible for free or reduced lunch at school. ASA has a scholarship fund which is in constant need of funds to allow scholarship players to play in the recreational league, travel league, and supplemental programs.
Locations of Operation
ASA’s Lee Center office (1108 Jefferson Street, Alexandria, Virginia) is open from 9:00AM to 3:00PM Monday through Friday. Office staff includes Thomas Park, Executive Director; Chris Arnold, Director of Youth Development; Ann Clark, Office Manager; Jim Hogan, Director of Recreation and Programs; and Ryan Rich, Director of Coaching/Travel Registrar. ASA has approximately 20 professional travel coaches and 250 volunteer coaches and coordinators. ASA also operates at various city fields on weeknights and weekends during the fall and spring. ASA uses private indoor locations on weekends during the winter.
Benefit to the Community
ASA provides extensive health and wellness benefits to the Alexandria community by offering soccer programs year-round for children ages two through nineteen. There are many benefits to providing athletic programs for youth in the community. ASA coaches and volunteers teach teamwork and life lessons through soccer. Extracurricular activity through ASA’s soccer programs also provides an alternative to criminal acts and drug use in at-risk youth. Athletic activity is a great way to fight childhood obesity as well. During registration periods, ASA attends multiple community outreach events by visiting local schools to promote soccer for all children, regardless of financial status or skill level.
ASA works closely with the Alexandria City Parks and Recreation office, but is not subsidized by the city or funded by taxpayer dollars in any way. It is through donations, grants, and local support that ASA is able to expand and grow to better serve the Alexandria community.