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Virginia Development Academy Adds Girl’s U-13 and U-16 Age Groups for Full League Programming

Virginia Development Academy (VDA) will join the Girls’ Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) for 2018-19.

“Over the past few weeks, our leadership team, including technical, administrative and parent representatives, underwent an in-depth review of the needs of our female student-athletes and culture of our organization,” said Mike Cullina, VDA Academy Director. “Ultimately, we determined the Girls’ ECNL was the best development platform for our female players to provide quality competition and maximum exposure in every age group.”

Matt Lacey, VDA Director of Coaching added, “As we move into year two of our girls' program, it is important we lay the foundations to continue to build an elite program. The ECNL provides us the platform to do this by providing quality competition and player development opportunities. We look forward to the fall of 2018.”

VDA will begin competing in the Mid-Atlantic Conference in fall 2018 with teams formed in the U13, U14, U15, U16, U17, and U18/U19 age groups through previously held and future ID sessions. U13 and U14 teams will compete in ECNL league play with a 10-month schedule, while the U15, U16, U17 and U-18/19 teams ECNL league play will end in mid-February to allow players the opportunity to play high school. VDA will offer a 10-month program, including full training and supplemental league play during the spring season for those players who choose not to play high school.

In addition to league play and ECNL National Events, VDA ECNL teams will attend additional events chosen by VDA staff to increase developmentally appropriate competition and maximize college recruiting exposure. VDA will continue its Winter Showcase in February.

As a result of this decision, VDA has notified U.S. Soccer that it will not renew its membership into the girls’ Development Academy for 2018-19, but is fully committed to complete the 2017-18 season, including all league games and showcase events. VDA remains committed to the boys’ DA, as well as men and women’s CCL Pro 23 moving forward.

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