The Board of Directors of Augusta FC (Augusta Futbol Club) and SOCA (Soccer Organization of Charlottesville-Albemarle) are pleased to jointly announce the merger of the two neighboring soccer clubs into a single entity serving both communities. The merger of the two clubs will take place this spring with operations fully merged during the summer months.
The new club will retain the SOCA acronym with the full name revised to “Soccer Organization of the Charlottesville Area”, reflecting an expanded and inclusive operational base.
The unified club will provide service in both regions, building upon the existing foundations while increasing the opportunity for all players. A club office will be opened in the Augusta region, with dedicated full-time staff, increasing soccer resources in the community. Oversight and direction for the Augusta office will come from the joint leadership of the unified club. Over time, the programming and operations of the two regions will mirror each other under the guidance of the single club, with allowance for local variation. There will be no operational changes to current spring programming.
The united club will offer single Elite youth teams beginning at the U13 age group. Players throughout the two regions (Charlottesville/Albemarle and Staunton/Augusta/Waynesboro) will be able to seek selection to the club’s Elite teams, which represent the highest available level of play. By merging resources the combined Elite teams are expected to make an increased impact at the state and national level. Additionally, each region will continue to offer Premier and Classic level Travel teams from within their respective communities. Recreational, Challenge and Hot Shots programs will continue to separately serve each community.
“We are very excited about this merger,” said Bill Mueller, SOCA Executive Director. “The leadership of AFC approached us and invited SOCA to make a proposal to expand opportunity in Augusta. We were delighted to be invited and made a serious effort to understand the benefits for both communities. We are convinced a single club serving the two regions will unite resources and elevate possibilities for players.”
Benefits for players at all levels include shared programming opportunities and cross-over play, where appropriate. This summer there will be shared camp options, in addition to summer camps offered separately in the two regions.
Coach education, player development, comprehensive programming and facility development will be immediately prioritized in Augusta. These efforts will build upon the achievements of AFC and draw upon the successful experience of the Charlottesville club allowing each player to pursue soccer to their highest level of ability and interest.
Augusta FC President, Britt Becker, is enthusiastic about the opportunity for his club members. “After careful consideration of a number of options for the club’s future, the AFC Board unanimously chose to merge with SOCA. Their history of strength, leadership, local programming and player and coach development at all levels will present both immediate and long-term opportunities for AFC players and families. We look forward to the continued growth of soccer in our local communities under a new united club.”
Town hall style meetings will be held in each community to present the merger plans and to answer participant questions. On Monday, March 31, a meeting will be held at Wilson Memorial High School cafeteria at 7:00 pm. A second meeting will be held on Thursday, April 3, 7:30 pm in the Lane Auditorium in the Albemarle County Office Building. All persons interested in learning more are encouraged to attend one of the meetings.
For more information on the merger, please view the AFC website at: www.augustafc.com, or the SOCA website at www.SOCAspot.org. A FAQ sheet has been placed at www.socaspot.org/about_soca.php to help answer questions.