US Academy Preview: Virginia Rush
A member since the inaugural season, the Virginia Rush US Soccer Developmental Academy program kicks off September 8, 2012 against McLean. An opponent familiar with the Rush, based upon previous seasons may be one of the only similarities for 2012/2013.
The redesigned US Soccer Developmental Academy program begins 2012/2013 with the advent of the 10 month season and not allowing academy players, who choose the US Soccer Development Academy as their club’s playing environment, to play in high school soccer. This year will also mark the beginning of the Rush’s movement to the Eastern Conference’s Atlantic Division with new opponents including DC United, PDA, PA Classics, FC Delco, NJSA ’04, Match Fit, Potomac and the Baltimore Bays. The Rush will also compete against the Strikers, Kickers and Mclean all of whom have been placed in the new divisional alignment.
“We are extremely excited about the new direction of the Academy,” remarked Jay Hoffman, Virginia Rush’s US Soccer Development Academy Head Coach for both the 15/16 & U17/18 teams. “First of all this 10 month season announcement was met, by all of the players to whom we made offers, with great enthusiasm and excitement. They all realize that this playing environment is the best opportunity for their development and enjoy the challenge. Seeing new opponents and the addition of more single games also added to their excitement.”
Virginia Rush’s U15/16 team is coming off of a very good 2011/2012 season. Leading the division for most of the year and having to win its final two games, after a 3 month high school season to get into the top two of the division, proved to be too great a hurdle, as the Rush settled for 4th place in the division.
“I am very excited for this year and the makeup of our player pool. The U17/18 has only 12 players who are only age appropriate (1994) for this team and 6 with a 2013 graduation date. Two of which have already committed: Josh Butler to Brown University and Robert Kerby to Hampton Sydney. The U15/16 will be dominated by 24 players with 1996 and 1997 birth years, all of whom have at least two years remaining in the Academy,” said Hoffman. “The 2011/2012 U15/16 team that did so well, was comprised of a majority of these 1996’s. I am really looking forward to working with this group again and guiding THEIR development as players. It will be interesting, in the end, to see just how far they have advanced after some of them will have been in the program for 3 or 4 years. This year’s rosters will see five new players, one of which came in and trained for 6 months prior to being named to the program. It will also feature nine players who have been developed through the Virginia Rush Soccer Club, a very positive statement for all of our community, programs, coaches and DOC’s.”