Alexandria Soccer is thrilled to announce the addition of the Club Champions League (CCL) to our current league offerings for U11-U19 Academy (Red) teams. To the credit of the progression of our players and teams the CCL — one of the nations most competitive regional leagues — invited our community to join beginning Fall 2018. The comprehensive CCL annual schedule will provide new opportunities for our most competitive Academy teams and a more defined pathway for ASA players to be challenged by into adulthood.
The ASA leadership team considered a number of variables when deciding to enroll teams to CCL I. The league offers a higher level of established opponents for our players to compete against week in and week out. Competition standards require quality fields, referees, and professional coaching. This improves the experience our teams have, especially when they travel to away opponents.
Partnering with the CCL to provide a professionally managed league for our Academy players fits right in line with our vision of being the gold standard of community based clubs. The CCL shares this vision by being one of the most forward thinking premier league in youth soccer. We love that our ASA leadership team will work with the CCL dedicated administrative staff alongside a board of highly qualified technical directors to guide the strategic direction of the league.
Game days have a club-to-club structure which means ALL Alexandria (Red) teams competing on that day will be at the same location during similar times. We hope this encourages more connection between players, coaches and parents across teams, strengthening our community.
Our goal at Alexandria Soccer is to provide the highest quality programming to all in our community regardless of their age, comfort level in the game, or support system. The ASA Access4All Project has ignited participation in our community to grow from 1,600 players in 2011 to nearly 5,000 today. We give credit to all in our support network for investing in the project and prioritizing access over exclusion. Especially our parents and coaches for spending countless hours teaching and mentoring players. The result is a vibrant soccer culture that supports players from toddlers to the most competitive levels of the National Soccer League and National Futsal Championships.
The graphic below lays out our current league offerings to help explain a bit more about how CCL fits into the bigger picture of league participation for ASA Academy teams.
Ryan Rich, ASA Academy Program Director: “Our Alexandria Soccer Academy program looks forward to joining the CCL next fall. The league provides the most consistent and competitive experience in our area, and with the club-to-club match days, provide our families and teams with a platform to showcase and execute our playing identity. In addition, our players will have valuable opportunities to achieve their aspirations at the college level.”
Our staff, coaches and parents care deeply about every player, their growth within the game and are excited to work with the CCL to offer incredible competition in support of Alexandria! Additionally we’re excited that the CCL is a US Youth Soccer affiliate which connects ASA with the State Cup, Regional Showcase events and a more clear pathway to National championship series.
We’ve put together a few FAQ’s to help cover all of the information:
Who exactly does this league addition impact?
In the first year of participation ASA will enroll just its Academy “RED” teams. The league offers several other developing platforms (U9/U10, CCL II for White teams and Pro-23) that we will consider for future participation on an ongoing basis.
What will our game schedules be like? Will we play on Saturdays or Sunday?
Game schedules will not look much different than they do now. Teams can expect 7–8 games in the Fall and Spring seasons. Most games will be on Sundays with a few Saturdays mixed in. The most significant difference will be the club-to-club format, which means all our teams will either host or travel to another club. For example, if we are hosting Mclean, all their U11-U19 teams would play at our fields and vice versa.
This means that if you happen to have children of different ages who both play on Red teams, their games will always be on the same day and in the same location!
How much travel will there be?
Of the 18 clubs participating in the CCL, 12 of them are in the Northern Virginia/Maryland area less than one hour from Alexandria. There are a handful of clubs that require more travel; however, it would occur on an alternating year schedule. For example, if we played Beach FC (Virginia Beach) in 2018, they would travel to us for the 2019 year. The club will do everything possible to make these longer trips as efficient as possible (e.g. using one away weekend trip to play two clubs that require more travel).
After weighing the pros and cons of this travel element, we believe the consistency in competition and reasonable amount of travel required each year is manageable to warrant this move and similar to the current regional league travel demands.
Will we keep the same uniforms?
Yep, the same ASA red and white Adidas jerseys.
What happens if we don’t have a great experience in the new league?
As we do each year, we’ll evaluate our player’s needs and what’s best for our community of players and parents. We’re continually working to ensure we can offer the best experience in regards to player development and growth. Appropriate competition is one of the most looked at variable when choosing a league.
Will the Red teams still play in Region 1 League, EDP, or participate in State Cup?
Our teams will still participate in VYSA State Cup; however, most teams will not participate in EDP. Region league participation will be evaluated by a team by team basis.
Based on its competitive reputation, United States Youth Soccer (USYS) works closely with the CCL to ensure its most competitive teams are given the opportunity to progress to the Region 1 and eventually the National league (the highest level of USYS).
Will joining the CCL make the Academy price go up?
The CCL places an importance on making their league and tournament/showcases affordable. There will not be a large increase to Academy pricing. As always, we’re committed to working with families to ensure that all kids have the opportunity to play.
Anything else I should know CCL?
The CCL will not only provide a more consistent and manageable schedule for our high school-aged teams but provide us access to additional college showcase opportunities. The CCL hosts two college showcases that attract hundreds of coaches from throughout the region.
We believe that the inclusion of the CCL into our league offerings will provide real value to our players that want to pursue soccer at the college level.
If you have any questions about CCL you can email Ryan Rich for more information at [email protected].