SOCA recently announced plans to participate in both Men’s and Women’s CCL PRO23 beginning summer 2018. CCL PRO23 will provide former SOCA players and current collegiate players an opportunity to participate in quality training and superior competition during the off-season summer months. The Club Champions League (CCL) operates the regional, professionally-managed, competitive, Under-23 league. CCL PRO23 began play in June 2016 and in 2017 CCL PRO23 expanded to 35 teams from Maryland, DC and Virginia. 2018 is expected to have increased membership and be the most competitive season to date.
CCL PRO23 is a special seasonal program designed to extend college-age players a structured opportunity for high level competitive play. The program will strengthen the relationship between SOCA and local college programs. Although it carries the name of PRO (Player Retention Opportunity), it is an amateur league that will not jeopardize college eligibility. Since many former SOCA players are student-athletes playing collegiately at a variety of levels, the club is excited to extend former youth players an opportunity to continue to play for their club while seeking to stay sharp over the summer break. Players from local college programs can also be included in the SOCA PRO23 program. A unique feature of CCL PRO23 is the option to use up to five over-age players, allowing former collegiate players to join and become role models for the next generation of players.
Teams will play up to seven division matches beginning in early June. Division champions will compete for the CCL PRO23 Championship in mid-July. The Championship matches will be hosted by CCL clubs, rotating annually. Schedules, scores and standings will be posted on the league website. To learn more about this program, please visit http://www.clubchampionsleague.com/pro23/.
Throughout the Fall season SOCA’s O-40 Adult divisions competed in two separate competitions. There was the usual Sunday afternoon games in league play, and in addition the teams were competing to raise the most money for the SOCA Field House project. The friendly fundraising competition was initiated by the league members, who thought the notion of a friendly challenge would boost interest and participation. At stake was the right to name the O-40 trophy in perpetuity.
Donations were received from six of the seven teams in the fall league, totaling $22,072 by the December 1 deadline. Shadwell United lead the way with a team contribution of $8,600, and thus will have the opportunity to name the division’s trophy.
Bill Mueller, SOCA’s Executive Director, is pleased with the results. “We are grateful for all the contributions, and for the initiative shown by the O-40 players. The idea for the fundraising challenge came from Eville City FC captain Scott Greco, so a special thanks is due to Scott for his clever idea. We hope the challenge helped to raise awareness in the club and helped some of our long-time participants find a fun way to support the Field House project.”
The O-40 division includes many players who serve as coaches and referees within SOCA, as well as being parents and supporters of youth players. These key club members were identified as a uniquely positioned group, able to set an example for others in supporting the much needed Field House.
The capital campaign for the Field house is ongoing, and donations are gratefully received. Donations can be made on-line via the SOCA website, at this link, https://www.socaspot.org/members/donations.php, where personal SOCA accounts can be accessed to credit the contribution appropriately. Select the “Field Facility Fund” to support the current Field House project.
To simply say that soccer in America is growing is an understatement. More fans turned on the TV to watch World Cup 2014 matches on ESPN and Univision, with millions more turning out in parks and restaurants around the country, than ever before. Fans tune in to watch the English Premier League airing on NBCS each weekend. The MLS continues to grow and become increasingly stable. The growth in the game is evident in SOCA’s adult leagues as well.
It is well known that SOCA offers a wide variety of youth soccer programming for over 4000 youth players but what may not be as well-known is SOCA also has a growing adult soccer league. SOCA’s adult league has been growing at a rapid pace the past few years. SOCA offers two main season’s playing an 11 v 11 format in the Fall and a Spring and two supplemental seasons, 5v5 in the Winter Indoor Soccer League (WISL) and Summer league which is played in an 8v8 format. The Over-40 Division always plays in an 8v8 format.
Since 2012 SOCA’s adult league has grown from five divisions made up 45 teams and 738 players to the current Fall season line up that has seen a jump to seven divisions with 58 teams composed of 1053 players. The biggest growth has taken place at the Co-Rec level, where an additional two divisions have been added during the past two years.
“The growth has been impressive; I think we can attribute the growth to a few things. Charlottesville is such a great soccer community with UVA men’s and women’s soccer in town and both having a lot of success coupled with the success we’re seeing with our US National teams at World Cups. Soccer has exploded over the past 15-20 years and now all those youth players have grown up and graduated high school or college and are looking to continue playing the game. I also believe SOCA does a good job of providing a great service for those who want to play and live active lives through soccer. We offer so many levels that there is something for everyone who wants to play the game”, says Jason Moore, SOCA’s Adult League Coordinator.
Moore goes on to say “Each year has seen a steady growth of teams and players and it’s not just from Charlottesville. We’ve seen an increase of players from outside the immediate Charlottesville area. It’s been fun to see new players and new teams each season. We have a mix of new teams and teams that have been around for many years.”
SOCA’s Fall season is heading into the home stretch with the regular season winding down and play offs scheduled into November. SOCA’s Adult Winter Indoor Soccer League will open up registration on November 3rd in preparation for the WISL season, kicking off January 4.
Be a part of the growth of soccer in the Charlottesville area. Soccer is a great way to stay a part of the game, meet new people and get some great exercise!
If you have any questions about the SOCA’s Adult Leagues, please contact Jason Moore at Jason.Moore@SOCAspot.org