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ASA Wrapped | A look back at 2022

As we take a short break from soccer fields and futsal courts over the next week, it is the perfect time to look back and reflect on the past 12 months. As we remember 2022 and think back over the events, celebrations, growth, wins and losses—we are reminded of our passionate and supportive community, who help make our work possible.

In January we are excited to share our 2022 Annual Report, “The Story of ASA,” which will highlight some incredible stories from our community members.

We realized that in addition to our “regular” year to year activities [such as hosting programming for 6,000+ children and adults; growing the Rec League to serve more grassroots participants than ever before; placing Academy teams in competitively appropriate leagues; welcoming new teams to our eight weekends of local tournaments; hiring, training and developing our coaching staff; etc] we did a few things unique to 2022… Let’s look back!

 

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ASA Turned 50*

*Technically we turned 50 in 2020 but we finally had the opportunity to celebrate this year! In March we honored 50 years with the “Golden Gala,” an evening of camaraderie, fun, and celebration at the Torpedo Factory in Old Town, Alexandria. With more than 300 people in attendance we highlighted ASA’s growth and development over the past five decades, celebrated our Access4All program which provides free soccer programming, and honored two extraordinary students with the “Griffin Award.” There were representatives from every decade of ASA in attendance to celebrate!

The Griffin Award is given to youth participants who show initiative, go above and beyond, and embody the spirit of community involvement and giving back. This year’s recipients, Ellie Goodrich and Jeffrey Aguilar Reyes, are both excellent soccer players, but are also great leaders and role models, and are reliable and respected members of our ASA team.

 

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Launched an NPSL Pro Level Team

In June we took another step in the professionalization of our men’s team, ASA Reds, by joining the National Premier Soccer League. In their inaugural season the team won their Mid-Atlantic conference and made a run in the postseason tournament to finish as regional semifinalists. This platform continues to offer ASA graduates the opportunity to continue their playing careers past high school and brings new talent into our community.

(L) NPSL Reds take the field during a spring match; (R) Women’s U23 players listen to Coach Scott during a halftime talk.

Additionally, the Reds games were a fun way for our community of soccer fans to come together and watch high level soccer! Our U23 women’s team also had a successful season, even tying the Washington Spirit Reserves team in an exciting match at Witter Field.

ASA Reds fans celebrate an exciting goal during the Spring 2022 NPSL Mid-Atlantic conference finals.

 

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Futsal Fest

You demanded more futsal this year and we obliged. 🙂 During the month of July our team hosted two single day Futsal Fest events for teams to come together in a casual and fun environment and compete on our city’s premium outdoor courts. It was fun to get back on the court for a day or two (outside the regular winter futsal season) and we are looking forward to bringing Futsal Fest back in 2023!

Girls teams compete at the first annual Futsal Fest!

 

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Adaptive Soccer Clinic

In September we were thrilled to partner with Dream for Kids DC (now called, So Kids SOAR) and other amazing organizations to host an adaptive soccer clinic at Simpson Field. Each participant was partnered with a volunteer buddy who helped provide a fun and accessible soccer experience. There was an amazing crew of volunteers who helped make the day a success, including the Howard Women’s Soccer team!

We also welcomed Coach Molly to our team this year. Molly leads our TOPSoccer program and she has incorporated new activities that help develop connections and provide a fun experience for all participants.

 

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ASA Futsal Represented in Spain

In October, Coach Will, along with ASA 2008s Natnael, Aiden, Charlie and Luis, traveled to Spain to represent both ASA and the US Futsal Federation in the IA Futsal World Championship. Coach Rose also competed on the United States women’s team. Both teams advanced to the tournament finals, with the 2008s claiming the title and the women’s team ending their run as finalists.

 

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Lighting Up Fields of Opportunity

Alexandria has seen major growth in youth sports participation and recreation over the last fifteen years— from 1,500 annual participants in 2005 to over 15,000 in 2022. Alexandrians are healthier and happier than ever, in part because of this increase in activity.

We have reached a point where the inventory of available athletic field & court space in our community no longer meets the needs of children and adults interested in recreation programs, both school and club related.

Thanks to our community of parents & players who advocated for field lighting the Alexandria City Council voted unanimously to approve the addition of lights at five facilities in the coming years!

  • Simpson Stadium Park
  • GW Middle School
  • Jefferson Houston K-8 School
  • Patrick Henry K-8 School
  • Francis C. Hammond Middle School

We are thankful for our community’s commitment to creatively building and creating safe spaces for kids to play.

 

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Brenman Futsal Complex

Winter futsal training space has always been a challenge (that we’re up for!) in large part due to the limited indoor space available to us throughout the region. The inventory of indoor spaces are mostly housed in school gyms, and they have limitations on timing, availability and permit lead time.

To help account for the capacity issue, we had the idea to improve an existing space with an outdoor sport court solution. This was an ambitious and exciting project, and the materials we used will benefit us for years to come. We worked with the City for support to lay Ultra Base Sport Court on top of half of the turf field to create four futsal courts with custom lining, netting and sign boards to separate the courts. The complex will provide a top of the line experience for outdoor practices and the surface is more comparable to an indoor court than the alternative of black top or tennis courts.

Sport Court is incredibly versatile and can be utilized on a variety of surfaces indoor and outdoor for many years to come. We have great plans to install the courts in future years with protection from rain, snow and morning/evening dew which will maximize their benefit. In this first iteration of the outdoor courts, the benefit still very much relies on mother nature cooperating.

 

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Access4All

In 2022 we grew our free After School League programming to provide play opportunities for 850 students at nine schools! We were thrilled to also offer programming at a Fairfax County elementary school for the first time ever. Throughout the fall our team also brought soccer and futsal to hundreds of elementary students during “gym class takeovers.”

We continue to be thankful for the incredible partnerships and support we have from principles and administrators at schools in our community,

In addition to free programming we provided $650,000 of scholarship support to children in core programming and continued to invest in the safe places to play around the community (that make programming possible!).

And that’s a wrap! Thank you to the volunteers, partners, sponsors, donors, coaches, referees and staff who help make our work possible. We are incredibly passionate about using the game of soccer to keep kids active and healthy and teach life skills. We are energized for what’s ahead and look forward to seeing you in 2023!

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