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Great Falls Reston

soccer club

THE ELITE Academy Story

The mission of GFR is to engage and impact our community by providing our youth enrichment, team spirit, friendly competition, and life skills through sports. We also recognized that there are many talented players in the club who are interested in pursuing soccer at top competitive levels and beyond as a student-athlete in college or as a professional. The GFR Elite Academy focuses on high level development and competition balanced with friendship and community ties.
The ideas behind the GFR Elite Academy have been taking shape over the last two years. We researched and consulted internally and externally with ‘soccer people’ and other community leaders, performance experts, and sports psychologists. We experimented with our approach using some of our existing teams. The central question we asked is, “How do you motivate and challenge young players to want to be better and reach as high as they can without compromising friendships, love of game, family time, as well as making it affordable?”

Our experimentation produced the results we were hoping to achieve. Players interested in playing soccer beyond high school received offers from Oregon State University, James Madison University, Coastal Carolina, Johns Hopkins, Alabama A&M, Randolph Macon College, Marymount University, and Mary Washington.  Others received college offers, but ultimately decided not to play in college. We also have several players who have spent a significant amount of time training with professional teams in Europe. Three from our boys’ program now have professional playing opportunities in Europe. 

The GFR Elite Academy model assumes that ‘one-size does not fit all’ due to various factors including physical maturation, mental maturation, pace of development, time and interest commitment, and financial commitment. Our model suits the smaller size of our club. We are able to get to know our players. We are able to provide a customizable platform for developing the complete player within the team and community. Our approach entails four foundations: (1) team and personalized player development training, (2) high-level team competition, (3) personalized pathway development and support, and (4) community involvement through service. Through these four foundations, we aim to create a supportive environment for result-oriented, high-level development, and opportunities for those GFR players and teams that have the motivation and skill requirements. 

Read about the Four Foundations of the program. 



For more information, please contact Rado Pletka, Elite Academy Director, at [email protected].


For answers to many frequently-asked questions, please see our FAQ page.

Great Falls Reston Soccer Club PO Box 836 
Great Falls, Virginia 22066 Phone: 703-859-6267
Email: [email protected]


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