Tag Archives: Maryland Capitols FC

A European-Style Soccer Academy Comes to Maryland

If you were an aspiring young soccer player in Europe, you’d try to sign up with the youth academy associated with one of your country’s club teams. Assuming you proved yourself worthy, you’d be taken in hand from the age of 9 or so and brought along year by year, growing and learning every step of the way.

David Jones, who was himself such a young soccer player, nurtured by the storied Manchester United organization all the way up to playing professionally, aims to offer the same opportunity to DC-area girls. To that end, he’s partnered with the Italian Serie A (top-level) women’s team Torino Associazione Calcio Femminile (Torino ACF) to establish a professional, female-only Soccer Centre of Excellence just outside of Washington, DC.

“We’ll provide a complete support system for players and parents so when they join us at U9 level they continue their soccer education all the way up to U18,” said Jones. “Then after players get to college age level, we’ll have not only the WPSL team but a WAWSL team, too.”
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A Match Made in Heaven: “A Celebration of Women’s Soccer”

Laura Kane and Jess Hnatiuk of the Chesapeake Charge/Maryland Capitols defend against Lianne Sanderson of the DC United Women/All-Stars, who would score twice on the evening. (Ken Harriford)

Somewhere in Heaven in the distant future, the all-time, all-Freedom team is taking the field. Co-captains Jen Grubb and Cat Whitehill check their starting lineup one last time. Beside them on the back line are Carrie Moore and Becky Sauerbrunn; Siri Mullinix is between the pipes. Up top are Mia Hamm and Abby Wambach; while Sonia Bompastor, Steffi Jones, Lori Lindsey, and Bai Jie line up across the midfield.

The other team consists of the best their opposition has offered over the years. So many to choose from, but you have to figure the lineup includes forwards Marta and Birgit Prinz; midfielders Lori Chalupny, Kristine Lilly, and Kelly Smith; defenders Joy Fawcett, Christie Rampone, and perhaps a Danielle Slaton finally without knee problems; and of course Hope Solo in goal.

All right, the lineup for Saturday’s “Celebration of Women’s Soccer”, with the “Maryland Capitols” taking on the “All-Stars”, wasn’t anywhere near that awesome, but given that it was limited to active players who could make the match on fairly short notice, it was plenty awesome enough. Three of the players I named above were there – Sauerbrunn, Lindsey, and Whitehill – though due to US Soccer’s concerns over possible injuries, only Cat was allowed to play. Becky and Lori served as part-time coaches and also participated in a penalty kick face-off at halftime. (Lori won, 4-3, after Becky’s first attempt went off the bottom of the crossbar but out rather than in.)
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MWSJA Players of the Week – Week 10

It’s hard to believe that the season is drawing to a close – in fact, due to the Capitols’ loss on Sunday, this will be the last POTW that all three teams participate in.

Let’s not dwell on Maryland’s loss too much, though – in their inaugural season they finished the regular season in first place in their division and third in the entire conference. And of course they gave numerous players a chance to show their stuff, several of whom have earned well-deserved POTW mentions during the course of the season. I’m really looking forward to seeing how they do next year with a year’s experience under their belts both on the field and off it.

But onto the players themselves.
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