Washington Spirit Announce 2014 Schedule
Two Home Games Scheduled Against Each of the League's Four Top Teams

BRYC was proud to support the Washington Spirit in 2013 in its innaugural season as a member of the new National Womens’ Soccer League (NWSL).  We plan to do even more in the upcoming 2014 season, already including the purchase of forty single game tickets to be made available to BRYC teams/players/familes at greatly reduced prices, and the possibility of yet another BRYC night after our successful first effort last Spring. If you were even an infrequent attendee in 2013 you’ll know how beautiful and crowd-friendly the Germantown Maryland SoccerPlex is for catching the Spirit in action.  You’ll also know that you got to see some top notch women’s soccer, with members of the national teams of the U.S, Canada, and Mexico playing for the Spirit and each of the other eight teams in the league.  

Sadly, our home-grown talent, BRYC alum Kika Toulouse (pictured right, at Spring 2013 photo day), will not be with the Spirit in 2014, having been selected by the new Houston Dash NWSL expansion team.  It's a loss for the Spirit but speaks volumes for the talented Kika to be selected as one of the ten players Houston coveted in the draft out of well over 100 league wide.  Responding to a congratulatory note, Kika called it "... a bittersweet situation for me as it was truly a privilege playing professionally for my hometown team last season. The Spirit will always have a special place in my heart. You're right though, ...I'm definitely excited to be a part of a new team in a new city and welcome any and all challenges that come along with that."

The Spirit's 2014 schedule has just been announced, including two home games against each of the league's top four teams from the 2013 season!  it’s not to early to buy tickets for the season which begins on Sunday April 13 at 4:00 PM vs. Abby Wambach and the NWSL Champion Western New York Flash.  Reserved seat prices range from $210-350 while individual game reserved seats will run from $30-50 each, when they become available.  If you don’t anticipate attending a full season of games, consider the Spirit’s "Flex Pak", ten vouchers that can be exchanged for individual unreserved game tickets for just $170, completely flexible and a full $8 per ticket lower than individual game admission. (Some restricitons apply.)  Download complete ticket pricing information here.

For additional information visit the Washington Spirit web site or call our BRYC-Spirit liaison, Natalie Pardo, at 240-812-7014.

 

STILL Looking for a Few Volunteers!
Photo Days Coming to Olde Creek ES on Saturday and Sunday, May 3-4

Have you boon looking for an easy way to help your soccer club, short of being a coach or a League Director, or an EXCOM member?  Here's your opportunity to lend a helpful hand.  

Photo Days are coming up on Saturday and Sunday, May 3 and 4, at Olde Creek Elementary School. Funny as it may sound, Photo Day can be one of the highlights of the season for coaches, teams and parents, almost a social event, as 98 teams of excited U5-U12 Boys and Girls and their parents show up at Olde Creel Elementary School, three teams at a time, for their team and individual photos.

One of the most colorful activities on Photo Days is the sale of BRYC Spirit Wear...those brightly colored T-shirts parents and kids wear to show their support of BRYC. If you didn't buy one online with registration or possibly at Uniform Night, Photo Days are the last opportunity each season to purchase your own Spirit Wear.  

But selling them takes volunteers.  A couple of EXCOM members will be there, but we're looking for five more dads, moms, or teens to help out at the sales table for just a couple of hours each.  If you're available, and want to help the club, click here to send an email Mac Squires to sign up for one of the following slots:

Saturday, May 3      8:00  -9:45  AM        9:45 - 11:30  AM     11:30 AM - 1:45 PM
Sunday, May 4        11:30 AM - 1:30 PM       1:30 - 3:30 PM

In your email, please note your preferred time and an alternate to give Mac the most flexibility in scheduling.  And if the thought of helping your club for just a couple hours of easy and enjoyable activity isn't motivation enough, there just might be a ticket or two to an upcoming D.C. United or Washington Spirit game awaiting the first five folks to sign up.  Thanks for your support.

 

Jim Clark Named Head Girls Soccer Coach at Falls Church HS
BRYC Stalwart Will Continue to Coach ODSL U13G Rage in Addition to the Jaguars

When the Dean of Students at Falls Church High School reached out to the local soccer community in early January, searching for a new head girls coach for the Falls Church Jaguars, with tryouts scheduled to begin in mid-February, it seemed like a tall order.  It would take someone really special to fill those shoes on such short notice.  But BRYC's Training Director Joan Smith was anxious to get the word out.  She told the EXCOM "Our coaches do a great job and DESERVE the chance to go for an opportunity to progress in their coaching career....", and with the EXCOM's encourage-ment she forwarded the "Coach Wanted" listing to BRYC coaches who might fill the bill.

Now BRYC is extremely proud to announce that Jim Clark, coach and assistant coach within BRYC recreational soccer, All Star coach with his friend Fred Welther, and most recently the head coach of the U13 Girls Braddock Road Rage, BRYC's first re-entry into the ODSL program in the spring of 2013, has been named to the position.

Jim started playing soccer in Northern Virginia as a kid with both Annandale Boys and Girls Club (ABGC) and Fairfax Police Youth Club (FPYC), moving on to play varsity soccer at Falls Church from which he graduated in 1986...so he's returning to his alma mater in the new position.  Jim went on to play both soccer and rugby at Mary Washington College (now the University of Mary Washington), graduating in 1990.  After college he played and coached indoor adult soccer for a few years before beginning his tenure with BRYC in 2009.

It was after the FPYC Spring 2012 All Star tournament that Jim entered a few of his U11 girls, nicknamed "The Rage", in BRYC Elite's "Fantastic Four" tournament, even though they'd never played 4v4 soccer.  They won, and the Rage wanted more.  By the spring season of the following year BRYC had worked out the details of returning to Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL) competition and Coach Jim and the Rage were,very happily, the BRYC guinea pigs.  (The program has now expanded to include a dozen squads in just a year since the first successful foray under Jim's guidance, ably assisted by Welther and by Team Manager Kimberly Yeo).  By the Fall of 2013, the Rage won ODSL's Division II title, and were ranked as high as 31st in the state for a U13G team. Thankfully, Jim will continue to coach the Rage as he takes the Jaguars' reins at Falls Church HS.

In his non-coaching life (for which it would seem there is little time remaining during the spring soccer season) Jim owns his own construction company.

Echoing Joan Smith's thoughts about wanting to provide opportunities for BRYC's coaches to advance, Rec Soccer's former Junior Division Deputy Commissioner (and current Equipment Coordinator) Craig Willett said "...We should always promote an opportunity for player and coach advancement.  The pie is not limited, but rather as large as the imagination and desire of the human spirit."   Jim Clark has just taken a large bite of that pie and we wish him (and the Rage and the Jaguars) nothing but the best in the upcoming season.

Spring Uniform Day Comes and Goes, Not Without a Snafu
Our Apologies for Running Out of Socks...Perhaps We Counted Heads Instead of Feet?

        

Uniform Coordinator Dan Cho (top right photo) thanks the large number of volunteer helpers, including EXCOM members, League Directors, Coaches, players, and just plain helpful folks who pitched in with the set-up so we could open the doors on time, helped hand out uniforms and model sizes, and those who were there until the end of the evening helping to pack away the goods until next fall.  We couldn't do it without you.

        

Lost and Found Item on the Front Page?
Just This Once...for Something More than a Jacket or a Water Bottle

Over the years the Lost and Found page has reunited only a few owners with items they've lost on the soccer pitch, so, just this once, the webmaster is moving a "found" item to the front page.  It's a class ring from Bishop Kearney HS in Rochester NY, found on the playing field at Lake Braddock Lower Level on April 26.  It has 1962 (the year of the school's founding) on one side and 1982 on the other.  A proud 1982 graduate should be missing it about now. The finder, who was nice enough to take the accompanying photo "would like to find the owner", so if this is your ring, or you know a fellow BRYC parent of about the right age who grew up in Rochester, the webmaster would love to hear from you.  (Meanwhile, we've even sent an email to the school's alumni association seeing if they can assist.) 

Smiling Faces All Around on Photo Days
Coaches, Parents, and Volunteers Turn Out on Beautiful Weekend

It was a sea of smiling faces on the first Saturday and Sunday of May at Old Creek Elementary School as the U5's through the U12's assembled for photos.  Thanks to League Directors Mac Squires, Omar Chaudhry,Peter Phipps, his wife Gila, and his entire family for their help selling BRYC spirit wear, and even sorting the hundreds of old season patches!  

Two U5 teams especially caught the Webmaster's attention because of their sheer exuberance...and what a great job their coaches did to keep them "focused". When you check out the Dinousaurs, coached by Manny Ramirez and Josh Parkins, as well as the Tornados, coached by Colleen Peacher and Peggy McCoy, (left and right below), you'll understand why many of BRYC's volunteers no longer have children active in the program, but keep coming back for just such moments as Photo Days. The kids are just that cute!

 

 

Friday Night Lights
A BRYC Tradition Going Strong Since the Summer of 2009

Long-time BRYC faithful and senior division boys coach John Kelleher didn't retire to the couch when his third or fourth group of U19 players aged out of the program.  Recognizing the desire of many of his "boys" to continue playing, John started the "Friday Night Lights" program, a year-round effort that has kept a bunch of young men (and occasionally a young woman) involved in soccer for the past five years.  Looking for a more competitive experience, three years ago John also organized BRYC's first entry into the Northern Virginia Soccer League (NVSL), this season expanded to two teams.  Meanwhile, John also coaches his twin sons in the BRYC Recreational Soccer program U6 age group.  You don't get much more involved in soccer than John Kelleher.  It's kind of humbling for the rest of us.

Friday Night Lights, 9 May at Woodson West Turf.  John Kelleher wearing the white t-shirt in the center of the photo.

Spring 2014 Pictures
Next Generation of Coaches Get a Jump on What It's Like to Train the Younger Set
Under the expert, caring, and thoughtful guidance of BRYC's Training Director, Joan Smith, BRYC's U4 Developmental League, now wrapping up its third year, is an age appropriate way to teach our 3-4 year old beginners the fundamentals of soccer in a non-competitive setting, teaching good skills while keeping soccer fun and interesting. Because coaching a bunch of small children can be daunting task for a first-timer, BRYC employs Professional Trainers (from Golden Boot Soccer) who have the skills and experience to properly teach these young players, leading to a better experience for both players and parents in the years ahead.
 

Along with the Professional Trainers, each team has one or more Parent Assistant Coaches working alongside the Golden Boot Trainer to help themselves develop a comfort level in front of the team and to give them an opportunity to ask the professional any questions they might have.  BRYC looks forward to the return of the U4's next fall as U5's and to welcoming many of these parents into the ranks of "Coach".  Don't forget to register as a volunteer after registering your child for the fall season.

Click on the Saturday "game" times (9:00 AM, 10:00 AM and 11:00 AM) for team photos.  For some additional action photos, click "Continue" below.


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Washington Spirit Moves Up To Second Place in NWSL Standings
Reduced Ticket Prices For Future Games Availale for All BRYC Members

As its contribution to the Washington Spirit this season, BRYC Recreational Soccer purchased 40 ticket vouchers to see one of the Spirit's games at the Maryland Soccerplex. As its contribution to BRYC Recreational Soccer players, ALL OF THEM have been given away! 

Even if you didn't get a free ticket, here's some GREAT NEWS!  Because of its commitment to supporting the Spirit this season, BRYC members using a special discount code are able to purchase any number of tickets to any and all Spirit games at the group rate as low as $20 per ticket...a real bargain for a great afternooon or evening of soccer. 

With a win over the Chicago Red Stars in it's most recent game, along with a couple of exciting "come-from behind" victories and a tie in its three previous outings, as of the fourth of June, the Spirit have a record of 6-4-1 and have jumped from sixth place to a tie for second in the NWSL standings!  Two of its four losses have come to the undefeated (8-0-2) Seattle Reign, including a tight 2-1 loss on May 3 in a game attended by Coach Jon Fredrick and five of his U13/14 Girls Blue Flames (pictured to the left) using some of the free tickets distributed by BRYC. Coach John Decker's U12 Girls Lightning received their ODSL sportsmanship awards at the Spirit's game against Western New York on May 17, also attended by Coach Jim Clark and the U13G Braddock Road Rage, with the Spirit notching their first-ever victory of the Abby Wambach led Flash.   Later in the season BRYC's Training Director Joan Smith and her U16 Girls team will be going to see the Spirit take on last year's league champions, the Portland Thorns, on June 21.

As noted above, while the free tickets have all been spoken for, BRYC families can still order excellent grandstand seating for just $20, $5 less than the price at the gate, by using the link on the Washington Spirit page.  The Spirit will be on the road for their first three games in June before returning to town for the June 21 contest.  There are five additional games in July and August.  Check the Washington Spirit's own web site for their complete schedule.

BRYC ODSL U9G United Finish on Top at The Virginian
Tournament Disappointments Finally Over as Girls Hang On To the Finish

After an undefeated fall ODSL season, but losses in the finals of both the fall pre-season Patriot Cup and post-season Hunt Country Classic, BRYC United, a first-year ODSL squad of U9 Girls, couldn't wait for another opportunity to show their mettle this spring in the PWSI Icebreaker.  Mother Nature had different plans, and the tournament was canceled due to rain, so the girls went into the regular season (where they are once again undefeated as of the end of May), eagerly anticipating the Memorial Day weekend Virginian Tournament, and the chance to get the Game 4 monkey off their backs!  

After a relatively easy first game win against Gunston (an 8:00 AM start-time for which BRYC was wide awake and raring to go), the girls got out-run and out-gunned by the Stafford Revolution in game two.  It was a tough 3-2 loss to a fast, aggressive team...indeed a little too aggressive as the girls saw their first yellow card given out to an opposing player in their young careers.  Despite the loss, the 1-1-0 record was good enough for second place seeding on their side of the draw, making it into the semi-finals on Sunday where the team re-grouped and managed to beat a tough PWSI team, winner of its side of the draw on Saturday, by a score of 3-2, making it into the Memorial Day finals, a rematch against the same Stafford team that had outdueled them on Saturday.

In another hard-fought game from start to finish, United scored first but Stafford quickly equalized it. Then, United scored the go-ahead goal halfway through the second half and fought like champions to hang on to the finish.  Coach Pierre Martel expressed how proud he was of those girls "for not giving up and avenging some tough previous tournament disappointments".  Way to go United!

Meanwhile, at the Bull Run Memorial Day Soccer Tournament, Coach Carlos Merino's U11 Boys BRYC Lions, currently undefeated in ODSL action with a record of 6-0, came up just short of the tournament championship by beating Loudoun 6-0, tieing Vienna 2-2, and beating Culpepper 2-1 in extra time of the nail-biting semi-finals on the road to the Monday finals.  There they took on the challenge of playing against an Elite level team from the host club, Virginia Soccer Assocaiton, ranked 14th in the state in their age group, and showed their high playing level once again in a very intense game, falling by a final score of 3-2.   Congratulations to the Lions for their hard work all season, resulting in a great tournament showing.

Braddock Road U13G Rage "Adopted" by Washington Spirit
Crystal Dunn Visits Wakefield Park for a Coaching Session

As part of its outreach to youth soccer clubs around the area, this season the Washington Spirit announced a drawing in which up to forty area teams would be "adopted" by a Spirit player for one of their practice sessions. Limited to one drawing entry per person, Coach Jim Clark's "Rage" girls and their parents made sure their team had a better-than-average chance to be selected by sending in as many entries as the rules allowed.  As fate would have it, the entry submitted by Team Manager (and former BRYC ODSL Deputy Commissioner) Kimberly Yeo was drawn, and BRYC was paired with the Spirit's star defender, Crystal Dunn, a UNC graduate, the Spirit's first overall pick in this season's college draft, and a member of the U.S. Women's National Team (USNWT), recently called up for for the women's upcoming "friendlies" against France. 

For her first scheduled appearance in early May the weather was frightful....cold, windy, rainy, and then some. Crystal called to say she'd be glad to reschedule.  So on a Thursday evening in late May, after a day practicing with her Spirit teammates, the charming Dunn drove herself down to Annandale and took the helm for the second half of the Rage practice.  You could tell by the expression on their faces that the girls were excited, and when Crystal asked a few of them to "show a move" for the other girls, there was no shying away from the chance to show off for the professional who complimented them all. 

Thanks to Crystal and the Spirit for their youth group initiative.  Many a BRYC Rec and ODSL player has been out to see them play in Maryland already this season, now at close to the half-way point with games scheduled through the end of August.  Unreserved seats are just $20 when using the ticket link on the Washington Spirit page and the pasword "BRYC2014-5".  If you haven't been to a game yet, you owe it to yourself to take one in.  Once you do, you'll want to go back!

For additional photos from the practice session, press Continue below.


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ODSL Sportsmanship Award Winners Receive Their Honors
U9B Strikers and U10G Panthers Honored at DC United; U12G Lightning Honors to Come at Spirit Contest

Each season the coaches in the ODSL vote for a team in their division which exhibits the best sportsmanship toward opponents, referees and opposing fans.  Three of BRYC's first-year ODSL squads were selected to receive the award for the Fall 2013 season, including the U9 Boys Strikers, coached by Yong Kim; the U10 Girls Panthers, coached by Mike Newman; and the U12 Girls Ligntning, coached by John Decker.  

Each of the winning teams receives a handsome team trophy and individual awards for each team member, coach and assistant.  The Strikers and the Panthers received their awards at halftime of the DC United game (a 4-1 win over FC Dallas) on April 26. The Lightning will be getting their handsome trophy and individual awards at an upcoming Washington Spirit match against Western New York on May 17, after which their photo will be added to the gallery below.

BRYC prides itself for a record of sportsmanship and fair play and we are very proud that these three teams continue in that tradition. 

 

Coach Mike Newman's U10G Panthers                             Coach Yong Kim's U10B Lightning

Start of Fall Soccer Season Just Weeks Away
First Game September 6; Coaches' Meeting and Uniform Night Come First

Before the fall season begins, BRYC wants to once again thank our spring season coaches (most of whom are returning) for the last season, which was celebrated in an end-of-season soccer contest between our boys' coaches and our girls' coaches, arranged by our hard-working  Training Coordinator and U4 League Director Joan Smith.  The coach’s game allows the kids to cheer for their parents on the field (instead of the other way around). This year, the cheering crowd enjoyed face painting and making posters to support their favorite player! The kids loved it!  Even some of our coaches and League Directors got in on the face painting! A good time was had by all!!  For a photo of all the game participants, click on "Continue" at the end of this story.  Or to download Joan Smith's excellent writeup of the event and ALL the photos, click here.

Now, looking ahead, for some folks the summer has flown by all too quickly, but for many BRYC coaches and players it has been "forever" since the spring season ended in early June, waiting for the chance to get back on the pitch once again.  Now, in just a few weeks practices will resume and in less than a mongh it'll be time for the first referee's whistle to signal the start of the fall season.  Of course that can't happen until the coaches attend the obligatory Coaches' Meeting at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, August 20 in the cafeteria at Little Run Elementary School where they pick up their equipment and are given their team roster for the upcoming season.  (With a little bit of luck, fall season game schedules will also be available but schedules are always dependent on the county alloating our fields to us in a timely fashion.)  And for the players, it can't happen until they've gotten a new uniform, or pulled last season's jersey out of the drawer to see if it still fits...and, if it doesn't, to make it to BRYC Uniform Night on Thursday, September 4, 5:00-8:00 PM at Little Run where parents can exchange new pieces that don't fit, or buy a who a whole new one if they didn't order along with registration.  THEN, it'll be time for the season to begin.

As they have for the last several seasons, our friends at Zinga in the Kings Park Shopping Center, are offering BRYC families a healthy 20% off on all purchases our opening weekend of play, Saturday and Sunday, September 6 and 7, for coming in wearing a BRYC jersey, shirt,, jacket, or cap, showing their blue or gray BRYC pride.  What better way to cool down after the opening game of the season than with a healthy and delicious treat at Zinga.


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Fall 2014 Season is Right Around the Corner...
...But Not Before We Post Some All Star Photos!

U8 Boys Coach Erin Silks and U9 Boys Coach Mike Essig were kind enough to provide the webmaster with a few action and team photos from the 2014 FPYC Fathers' Day Tournament in June.  The webmaster apologizes for the delay in getting some of them posted on the web site.  

BRYC didn't fare so well in the tournament win-loss battle, but it looks like the boys had a great time anyway, showing off their soccer skills one last time before summer vacation...and looking forward to the upcoming season.

  
Coach Silk's U8 Boys (above)

 
Coach Essig's U9 Boys (above)
(For team photos, press Continue, below.)


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BRYC Elite Hosts "Fantastic Four" Tournament
Sorry to See the Spring Season End? Here's Something for the Final Weekend in June

BRYC Elite Travel Soccer is proud to announce it will once again host the BRYC Fantastic 4 (4v4) soccer tournament.  This event, located at Robinson Secondary School (in Fairfax), is a weekend long event, June 28-29, 2014, open to youth and adult teams, from U8 all the way to age 30 and over.  As a non sanctioned event, no player passes are required.  There's a maximum of six players per roster.  All teams are guaranteed four games.  Teams will be placed in tired divisions to promote balanced competition.  The registration fee is only $200 per team.  For further information you write to tournaments@brycsoccer.com, or click on the tournament logo to the left.