Later this week, in anticipation of its 50th Anniversary in 2020, Arlington Soccer will unveil a revised and more modern logo. Let’s take a quick look back to the origins of the club.
Recreational youth soccer in Arlington, VA began in 1968. It was started by the Arlington County Department of Recreation with four boy’s teams for ages 15 and under. Games were played at Tuckahoe field on Sycamore Street. Games were scheduled, referees assigned, and fields lined by County personnel (as they did for other sports).
In January 1970, a group of soccer parents wanting to enlarge the youth soccer program met and formed Arlington Soccer Association (Arlington Soccer). When Arlington Soccer asked to be able to play soccer during the spring months, the County made fields available but due to budgetary restraints said that they could only provide personnel for a fall soccer program. In many ways, that decision of the County was the defining moment in the life of the Arlington Soccer. Volunteers began registering players, scheduling games, arranging for the assignment of referees, lining fields and otherwise taking over the management of the youth soccer program.
By the fall of 1970, the soccer program had expanded to 20 boy’s teams with U15 and U12 divisions of 10 teams each. Registration increased to 300 players. Today, over four decades later, the Arlington Soccer recreation program is made up of 6,000 players on more than 550 teams from Arlington and Falls Church.
A major factor in the growth of Arlington Soccer was the inclusion of girls in the Recreational soccer program. While girls did participate on some teams during those early years, the Association started forming all-girl teams in the fall of 1973.
Another milestone of the club was the development of travel teams. Initially, all-star teams were created early in Arlington Soccer’s history to play in tournaments over holidays. From those early all-star teams developed the Travel program, which now has 90+ teams playing in national and regional leagues. In 2018, the U16 Boys team won the club’s first US Youth Soccer National Championship.
In February 2020, Arlington Soccer will host a celebration to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the club.