The Washington Spirit have partnered with Reston Soccer Association for their Virginia-based U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy program. After losing three of the planned partners for their Virginia Development Academy program, the Spirit have secured the first partner club in the commonwealth. In addition, the Spirit recently announced that their Maryland-based program will partner with Baltimore Armour.
The Spirit’s Virginia program will be based in Reston and start play this fall. Previous planned partnerships broke down due to disagreements over the extent partner clubs would dictate curriculum and staff and an ongoing tug-of-war between the ECNL, the top flight girls’ league, and the newly-formed Girls Development Academy, which is backed by U.S. Soccer. Washington Spirit President Chris Hummer told Black and Red United on Monday that the Spirit would allow partner clubs to have a substantial amount of influence over the program but not have final say on curriculum and hiring of coaches and directors.
The partnership with Reston Soccer will also include opportunities, such as coach education seminars and the chance for youth players to meet members of the Spirit, for Reston players not at the Academy level.