January 8, 2013 - Major League Soccer (MLS) - D.C. United
Washington, D.C. (January 8, 2013) - D.C. United and the Annandale Boys & Girls Club (ABGC) - in conjunction with adidas - today announced an affiliate agreement, the first of its kind between D.C. United and a club in the State of Virginia. Under the agreement, ABGC will be one of D.C. United's primary sources in identifying and developing the top youth talent in Virginia. ABGC, along with United's Academy, has already produced current D.C. United and U.S. Men's National Team goalkeeper Bill Hamid. United will share its coaching resources and will work with ABGC to follow its training curriculum and system of play. Top players in the ABGC system, identified by both D.C. United and ABGC, will have the opportunity to join the D.C. United Academy teams, with a strong priority being placed on the Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 age groups.
"We are very excited that Annandale will be our first Virginia affiliate club," said Sonny Silooy, D.C. United's Director of Youth Development. "Annandale has proven that they are committed to helping players reach higher levels, like our Youth Development program is. They are one of the top clubs, if not the top club, in Northern Virginia when it comes to graduating players to Division I college programs, which we also boast some very high numbers. We have also been impressed with the mentality that all of the ABGC players seem to have when it comes to competing, especially that of homegrown goalkeeper Bill Hamid, who has recently been called up again to the U.S. Men's National Team. That, for us, is very important when our Academy is preparing players for competitions and possible Reserve Team or First Team action."
"Annandale is enthusiastic to be the first D.C. United affiliate club in Virginia," said ABGC Technical Director Bo Amato. "It is a fantastic opportunity for our players who have the abilities, dreams and desires to play professionally, and it certainly opens doors for these aspirations and ambitions. D.C. United will provide us with their extensive international experience in coaching education, which will benefit all Annandale soccer players. We also anticipate that this relationship will bolster our U-6 through U-10 programs and yield a stronger pool of players in the very near future. ABGC has been season ticket-holders and a supporter of D.C. United since the inception of MLS, and now to be an affiliate is an excellent addition to an already great relationship."
In addition to the player identification and development component of the affiliate agreement, ABGC will be outfitted with D.C. United and adidas-branded training gear, uniforms and coaching gear, and will receive special D.C. United ticketing opportunities for players and their families.
"The United States has some of the best athletic talent in the world, and it's our goal to provide homegrown athletes with opportunities to play elite soccer," said Antonio Zea, Director of Soccer for adidas America. "With our recent extension of the Major League Soccer contract, we have put the importance of youth development at a premium, and are excited about helping create Youth Club Alliances with local MLS clubs. This partnership between Annandale Boys & Girls Club, D.C. United and adidas will prove to be a great step in developing the next generation of American soccer icons."
"'This agreement continues our development of strategically integrated business initiatives," said Doug Hicks, Senior Vice President of Marketing Communications. "We look forward to engaging with additional local and regional clubs in the weeks ahead."