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ECNL Apr 23, 2015

Washington Post features FC Virginia ECNL side in article on club vs. high school soccer

Terry Foley.

FC Virginia coach Terry Foley

An article published on Wednesday in The Washington Post entitled “Top girls’ soccer players face difficult choice between club, high school teams” features interviews with FC Virginia ECNL players and head coach Terry Foley, along with other local club and high school coaches as well as input from Virginia Tech women’s coach Chugger Adair.

The article, authored by staff writer Brandon Parker,  discusses multiple angles of the often-discussed club vs. high school soccer debate. It begins by using Foley’s U-17 ECNL side as an anecdote, providing a peek into a winter practice in which the team voted against playing their high school seasons. After reflection, a couple of the FCV players have since decided to play for their high school teams this spring.

Choosing between club soccer, high school soccer or both is a decision that thousands of players are faced with every year, with various factors swaying the young athletes in different directions. See below for the opening paragraphs, or read the full article on

“Pen and pad in hand, FC Virginia under-17 girls’ club soccer Coach Terry Foley went down the roster and asked the same, simple question following one January practice: “High school or no high school?”

Tess Sapone had always enjoyed playing for Oakton High , but as her teammates voted one by one against joining their school teams this spring, Sapone fell into line. “I knew I wanted to play high school, but with everybody sitting there, it was kind of a peer pressure thing,” said Sapone, a Florida commit.

A few weeks later, Sapone conceded to her heart and committed to play for Oakton, a decision that teammate and fellow junior Anya Heijst also made a day later. The 19 other FC Virginia players — five of whom were All-Mets last spring, including Stone Bridge’s Briana Alston and Emily Fox and Briar Woods’s Lauren Kelly — chose to skip the high school season.

The outcome has spurred both concern and debate within the local girls’ soccer community. Few observers argue with the superior development and college exposure offered by club teams, and a rising number of players have elected to forgo the American tradition of representing their high schools on the pitch.” +Continue reading on The Washington Post

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