By Charles Boehm
Like many youth clubs across the rapidly-growing Washington, D.C. region, Loudoun Soccer has found access to field space a constant concern, for its travel teams as well as its massive, 7,000-plus-participant recreational program. The club is looking forward to some welcome relief this summer, however, with the opening of a new complex on Sycolin Road, located just off the Dulles Greenway in Leesburg, Va.
Featuring two full-size synthetic-turf fields and a smaller grass practice field, the facility will also be home to Loudoun’s administrative headquarters. Bulldozers and earthmovers have begun the process of clearing and leveling the site, which is near Philip Bolen Park, another new venue which is heavily used by Loudoun Soccer as well as other local sports leagues.
“Man, it’s exciting,” Loudoun technical director Daryl Gee told The Soccer Wire last week. “We were holding a camp at Bolen Park this week and I’ve been going by the Sycolin Road facility every day – it’s mounds of dirt, bulldozers, leveling out the ground. There’s excitement in the air.
“Delivery date is expected sometime around the first of July.”
With Loudoun Soccer set to be the primary user at the lighted, all-weather facility, Gee and his colleagues believe the Sycolin Road venue will open up new opportunities for the club to stage larger tournaments and other events.
“We get two turf fields plus a smaller grass field, but also down the road we have the seven fields [at] Bolen Park,” he explained. “So it’s ideally located, just in that little area eight to nine soccer fields where we can have games and tournaments, not only for the travel program but also for our rec program, which desperately needs more fields as well.”
For example, last month Loudoun staged the first edition of a new college showcase friendly event at the Word of Grace fields in Herndon, Va., bringing in about 20 college coaches to watch Under-16 and U-17 girls’ and boys’ teams from the host club as well as several others from across the state.
“We hope with the inauguration of our brand-new facility,” explained Gee, “we will be able to expand that showcase into a full-blown tournament and bring it here to Loudoun County and be able to extend invites to teams outside the state of Virginia, as well as getting more of our teams involved.”