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Youth Boys May 07, 2019

The St. James acquires FC Virginia, launches soccer academy

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SPRINGFIELD, Va. (Via The St. James) — The St. James, one of the Washington region’s premier sports, wellness and entertainment destinations, announced today the acquisition of FC Virginia, and the launch of The St. James FC Virginia.

This partnership will provide a comprehensive soccer development experience for male and female athletes from the beginner to the advanced level.

“We are proud to align with an organization that shares our dedication to provide a deliberate and comprehensive soccer education model,” says Douglas Homer, Director of Soccer at The St. James. “With the launch of The St. James FC Virginia, we are creating a program where player development, on and off the field, is at the center of everything we do. At The St. James, we pride ourselves on providing best-in-class training, instruction and competition—all under one roof.”

The Academy will offer a dedicated developmental pathway that provides players with access to a full range of Long-Term Athletic Model fundamentals, including technical skill instruction, small-group training and parent education for children and families. The Academy will offer advanced coaching in strength and conditioning, performance nutrition and leadership, as well as position-specific training for all players as part of its commitment to providing age-appropriate instruction and support for children of all ages, interests and abilities in soccer and futsal. Advanced players in the Academy will compete for regional and national titles with the goal of playing at the collegiate, professional and international levels.

This acquisition will establish one of the most competitive assemblies of soccer coaches and educators in the region, including:

  • Douglas Homer, Director of Soccer at The St. James and former Executive Director of DC Stoddert Soccer, the largest youth-dedicated organization in the District of Columbia. Homer holds an ‘A’ License from the U.S. Soccer Federation, a National Youth License, and an Advanced National Diploma from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
  • Christian Cziommer, Technical Director of Elite Player Development and former owner of FC Virginia. Cziommer holds a Masters of Sports Sciences from Germany’s Deutsche Sporthochschule Köln, a NSCAA Premier Diploma and UEFA A-License from The German Soccer Federation. Cziommer also serves as the Tactical Analyst and Team Performance Coach for the Washington Spirit, D.C.’s National Women’s Soccer League professional team.
  • Karen Kelser, Director of Tier One programs. Kelser boasts more than 25 years of coaching experience and is a U.S. Soccer Grassroots Coaching Education Instructor.
  • Bobby Puppione, Technical Director of the Girls’ Development program. Puppione formerly served as the Girls Development Academy Director at Cincinnati United in Ohio. He has extensive coaching and directorial experience working with CUP/Cincinnati United in Ohio and the U.S. Soccer Youth National Team.
  • Bruce Murray, Director of Player Development and Parent Engagement. Murray, a Hermann Award winner, boasts more than 20 years of coaching and professional experience, including his time as starting forward on the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and U.S. Men’s Olympic Team.

This leadership team, along with their dedicated staff of 30+ coaches, will work with players and families on individual performance, small group and team training with a deliberate focus on holistic development and mentorship. The Academy will focus on delivering high quality soccer and futsal instruction, mentoring and support services for players, teams, coaches and families – all of which align with best practices and utilize evidence-based player development methods of training, coaching and evaluation.

“We are thrilled to find a new home at The St. James, where our players will have access to the best in professional-level training, equipment, and facilities,” said FC Virginia owner Christian Cziommer. “This partnership further solidifies our mission to provide the best-in-class player development and reflects our dedication to achieving excellence in every aspect of practice, play and life.”

From state-of-the-art training venues for more than 30 sports, and a full-service medspa, to the 20,000 square-foot active entertainment center and waterpark at Super Awesome & Amazing, and wellness-driven restaurant concept Vim & Victor, The St. James offers a comprehensive combination of sports, fitness, wellness and active entertainment.

The St. James FC Virginia will offer holistic soccer and futsal education programs for families in Fairfax and Loudoun Counties with The St. James serving as a home base to the Academy.

The St. James FC Virginia will hold tryouts at The St. James on Saturday, May 11 and Saturday, May 18 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to evaluate players and offer roster slots. Access registration for these events at