ROANOKE, Va. – The United Soccer League (USL) today announced VBR Star as the latest club to join the USL Academy League. Based in Roanoke, Va., the club’s Academy team will compete in the Atlantic Division of the USL Academy League beginning in 2021.
“I’m thrilled to welcome VBR Star to the USL Academy platform,” said USL Sr. Director of Youth Development Liam O’Connell. “The addition of the Academy League’s elite level of play to the club’s competition schedule is sure to bolster their efforts to grow the game in Southwest Virginia, and I look forward to seeing VBR Star continue to lead the way in creating a pathway from youth to professional soccer for players in the region.”
Established in 1986, VBR Star’s location makes it one of the main attractions for the best young players in its region, drawing talent from a wide-ranging area. The club owns Kroger Soccer Park, a complex which features six grass soccer fields. VBR Star sides also compete in the highly-competitive Club Champions League.
“VBR Star Soccer Club is committed to developing soccer in this region,” said the club’s Executive Director Danny Beamer. “This gives our players and club another awesome avenue to grow. We’re looking forward to working with the USL and the new USL Academy League.”
“VBR Star is excited to join the USL Academy League in its inaugural season, and we look forward to what the future holds for the youth-to-professional model in southwest Virginia,” added the club’s Director of Coaching and Player Development Chris McClellan.
The USL Academy platform’s collaborative approach to youth development will allow the club’s best players to seamlessly compete in multiple competitions while getting exposure to the top prospects at clubs with senior teams in the USL Championship, USL League One and USL League Two.
VBR Star will handle tryouts for the USL Academy team internally for current VBR players. Players from outside of VBR Star are welcome to try out for the upcoming season. USL Academy will be in addition to their current club league play. Team creation will take place in February with training starting in March. Please contact Director Of Coaching, Chris McClellan, at email@example.com for more information and/or to set up a tryout.
All VBR players will compete in the USL in addition to their current CCL teams.
VBR Star is looking into future opportunities offered by USL regarding Girls’ USL-A.
As VBR Star joins the USL Academy League, the club’s leadership is currently exploring the potential of bringing a senior professional team to Roanoke, which could feature in USL League One.