The FC Dulles Way and Core Programs

Our curriculum is based on the US Soccer Player Development Initiatives, the US Soccer Grassroots Development Framework (4 v 47 v 7, 9 v 9, & 11 v 11), and the Play - Practice - Play practice format. Please read FIVE THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT PLAY-PRACTICE-PLAY for more information.

Our curriculum is deployed across all age groups and multiple programs from travel soccer to recreational/grassroots soccer in order to support our style of play and player development philosophy.

Style of Play:

"Building Possession style of play": This refers to keeping possession of the ball for the purpose of finding and exploiting opportunities and space to move forward, whenever possible, by using the flanks or a penetration pass. Teams are coached in a holistic way and encouraged to build attacks from the back, utilizing the goalkeeper and defenders to cycle the ball and build the attack to find space on the field where their team has numerical superiority.


Possession to penetrate. If there is no chance to penetrate and score, players with teammates will keep the ball in a smooth and clever way by circulating the ball to create opportunities to penetrate using the flanks.


When losing the ball, players will have a quick transition mentality to pressure and win back possession of the ball by placing the opponent on a predictable game and force their game to the pressing zones.

What does the FC Dulles Way mean?

  • A unique style and system of play supported by our curriculum, programs, and player development philosophy in a highly professionalized, conceptual well-organized learning environment;
  • Developing a love & passion for the game of soccer;
  • A curriculum-based approach to individual player development with a focus on increasing our player's cognitive soccer IQ.
  • Cultivating a growth mindset mentality to learning and improving for players and coaches;
  • Building character simultaneously with soccer skills: emphasizing the will to succeed, the ability to handle adversity, the desire to improve;
  • A pathway for every level of player with emphasis on teaching the REC player the skills to become a travel player. 
  • Helping parents to understand the complexities of youth soccer player development by providing resources to make the best decisions for their soccer-playing children. 
  • Providing coaching education for prospective coaches. 

Core Programs:

Academy Travel Program focuses on developing the advanced soccer player in a demanding, competitive environment. Players and families entering the FCD Academy Travel Program must be 100% committed. Players must be 100% committed to improving themselves as soccer players and as individuals. Our coaches in our Academy travel program are experienced in developing highly skilled players to play in our style and system of play. The goals of our Academy travel program are to develop our advanced players: 1)to instill a love of the game; 2)instill a growth mindset mentality to improve and reach the next level. The FCD Academy program utilizes paid coaches and re-sets teams each year after tryouts in the spring season.

Grassroots/Recreational Program: The Grassroots/REC program utilizes our recreational curriculum and focuses on fun and fitness in a social environment for boys and girls ages 3U-19U. Our Eaglet Program for players 3-4 years old is an introductory program focused on teaching of basic agility, balance & coordination skills. Our U5-U6 grassroots program- Micro Academy- is an introduction to soccer and emphasizes fun through small-sided games and the continued development of basic movement skills- agility, balance, and coordination with and without the ball. The primary goals of our Grassroots REC/Pre-Travel Academfor ages U7-U9 are to create a fun, organized environment, where players learn more advanced skills, enhanced movement skills, and basic principles of play in small-sided games utilizing our Play-Practice-Play training format.It is at this level we begin to identify players for future FC Dulles Travel Teams.  REC SFL is for ages U10-U19 where players participate in a team environment with age-appropriate development of technical skills, an emphasis on passing and first touch techniques, the development of attacking & defending principles of play from basic to more complex phases depending on age, and building character with teamwork, commitment, and effort. Our Saturday REC Jamboree provides competition for kids 3U-9U up in a fun, low-pressure environment with the same times and locations most weeks. Players ages 10U & up play in the Suburban Friendship League with games against other teams from clubs in the area.
Free Play is an integral part of our REC Curriculum. Small-sided games (usually 3 v 3 or 4 v 4) are organized and players play with minimal coaching instruction. One hour sessions are typically scheduled on Friday nights during the fall and spring seasons.