Helpful Information about ASA's Academy Program
All parents are required to read the Academy Handbook.
Competition + Leagues
ASA strives to ensure each Academy team competes in a competitively appropriate environment that both challenges them and brings success. The 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 Academy teams compete in the regionally recognized National Capital Soccer League (NCSL). As mentioned, ASA’s first priority when selecting a league for each team is appropriate competition and overall player experience. This flexibility allows teams to play with and against any opposition in the country! Leagues are subject to change each year but the focus will remain the same.
USYS: United States Youth Soccer is one of two main youth soccer governing bodies in the United States. ASA’s state governing body (Virginia Youth Soccer Association, or VYSA) is a member of USYS. ASA players primarily in leagues that require USYS player cards and every player within the Academy is carded within this system.
US Club Soccer: United States Club Soccer is the other primary governing body and sanctions leagues like ECNL and NPL.
In addition to league specific play Academy teams often play friendlies against high level competition from around the area. Academy teams also participate in tournaments and showcases against teams who play in other platforms like ECNL, MLS Next, Girls Academy and more. Our goal is to ensure each team has appropriate competition throughout the year.
Eastern Development Program (EDP) is a regional based league that some high level ASA teams opt to compete in each season. The league is often supplementary to other play and adds eight games to a season for teams interested in extra competition. EDP manages four of the thirteen conferences under the USYS National League Program and ASA teams may compete in the South Atlantic Conference. These conferences provide a pathway to the USYS Regional Tournament if teams win their division.
The Club Champions League (CCL) is the first club-to-club, and largest, club-based youth soccer league in the United States. The league is structured so that clubs schedule play dates and all age groups compete against each other on the same day. CCL hosts two college showcases each year for the oldest teams to play in front of college coaches from the region. Generally ASA red teams U11+ compete in CCL as it provides an appropriate level of competition for these groups. That said, some younger age grousp compete in CCL NextGen (a league experience for U9 and U10) and occasionally a white team in an age group may compete in CCL on a case by case basis.
MLS NEXT provides a high level player development experience founded on a collaborative approach to governance and a commitment to innovation. MLS NEXT players have access to the highest level of competition and to training and personal development opportunities. Several middle and high school aged ASA boys teams compete in MLS NEXT against clubs from around the region.
National Capital Soccer League (NCSL) is the DC Metro area’s premier promotion-relegation soccer league with multiple divisions of competition within each group. The league is one of the oldest, largest, and most well-known travel soccer leagues in the nation. It currently features 72 member clubs centered in Maryland, DC, Virginia, and West Virginia. The majority of ASA teams compete in NCSL and the promotion-relegation structure helps ensure they are place against appropriate competition.
National League P.R.O., a new high-level national competition platform, will feature the top 14U-19U Boys and Girls teams in the USYS National League competing for the opportunity to advance to the annual USYS National Championships.
National League P.R.O. features an emphasis on the Player, Recruitment and Opportunity.
The Atlantic Premier League (APL) brings together the most competitive U11 and U12 boys teams from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, DC and Maryland. Designed for the best clubs in the region — it offers organized match-play on premium fields.
All ASA 7v7 teams (U9-U10) along with all non-red teams U11+ compete in NCSL. Competitive white teams may have the opportunity to also compete in EDP. For the coming season we anticipate that U13-U15 boys red teams will compete in MLS Next and U16-U19 boys teams will compete in CCL, USYS leagues managed by EDP and/or National League P.R.O. On the girls side, U11-U19 girls red teams also compete in CCL, sometimes supplemented with NCSL Super Group and/or USYS leagues managed by EDP and National League P.R.O.
Academy uniforms are ordered online—uniforms CAN NOT be ordered from or picked up at the ASA front office. Once your child is accepted and registered for an Academy team you will receive an email with information on how to order their uniform.
The club assigns all uniform numbers. Kids keep the same jerseys and numbers year to year (you have the option of ordering a new jersey if an old one no longer fits).
Each player needs one red jersey, one white jersey, one pair of red shorts and one pair of red socks. All other items in the online store are optional.
Cost of the Academy Program
Academy program costs vary based on age group and team. The 2020-21 season costs are usually between $1,995 – 2,295 per child for the Academy year (mid August – early June). Payments can be made in a lump sum or spread out over multiple installments. The tuition 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 ($80 – $90) that typically lasts one or two years.
Please contact [email protected] with questions regarding financial support.
Players who qualify for free or reduced lunch are eligible to receive 25% off Academy tuition. Additional assistance is allocated on a sliding scale, based on household income and members of household.
Pathway to Pro (p2p)
ASA is a club affiliate of D.C. United Academy’s “Pathway 2 Pro” (P2P) program. The partnership, in conjunction with D.C. United and elite youth soccer clubs across the DMV, provides the most advanced players from specific boys age groups a pathway to the professional level.
Based on overall performance, growth, and readiness, ASA coaches collaborate with D.C. United technical staff to identify ASA players to invite to monthly training sessions with high-performing players from other P2P affiliate clubs (Loudoun, Arlington, PPA, Virginia Development Academy, Pipeline and D.C. United Academy). If D.C. United identifies a player for their pro pathway, the ASA staff and the DCU staff (along with the player’s family!) work together to determine a timeline for transitioning to D.C. United Academy that is beneficial to the player’s development. Historically this process has taken two to three years as DCU works closely with all entities and supports development and growth along the way. The P2P program and this partnership provides an exclusive track to professional soccer for the most advanced ASA Academy players.
The Team Manager is a parent volunteer responsible for team administrative and logistical needs as set by the club and coach. Many of our managers volunteer year after year, and love the chance to get to know players, families, and coaches. Trained and supported by the Academy Director, they are key members of the ASA family. Their Duties include:
- Be the admin of the team’s TeamSnap account to send reminders and updates.
- Assist in gathering materials for player registration in VYSA.
- Check the team in for tournaments.
- Support game day activities such as field set-up and player check-in, schedule changes and uniform color.
- Maintain and make available the team tent and bench (or designate another parent as the equipment manager).
- Maintain binder of team roster, player cards, medical release forms, etc.
Inclement Weather Policies
Decisions on field closures are made as late as possible in order to give the best possible chance for the game to be played. Please check the Alexandria Sports Hotline for field closures at (703) 746-5597. If a field closure is not reported on the hotline, it is at the discretion of the training program coach/administrator to determine whether training is cancelled. It is always a good idea to check with your coach or manager via TeamSnap.
The risk of heat related illness from vigorous sports activity increases with the temperature. Hot weather is considered at any point where the Heat Index reaches or exceeds 90. Coaches should follow the following procedures based on conditions:
- Heat Index up to 89°: Normal Play. Regular hydration patterns
- Heat index of 90°- 95°: Mandatory water breaks every 25 minutes.
- Heat index of 96°-102°: Mandatory water breaks every 15 minutes.
- Heat index at or above 103° (at start of training): All outside activity cancelled
At the first sign of lightning, all coaches, players, referees and spectators are to withdraw from the field and seek proper shelter.
Coaches should follow the 30 minutes rule and wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning flash before giving the “all clear” signal and resuming normal activity.
Players are more susceptible to injuries during cold weather, particularly from pulled or torn muscles. Players should be encouraged to wear appropriate clothing to aid body heat retention yet afford adequate movement without creating a safety hazard. As a general rule, training programs will be cancelled if the projected temperature (including wind chill) at the start of training is projected to be below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. At times, high school teams may opt to train when the temperature is 25 degrees or below.