BRYC Sweeps "Champions of Character" Awards
Parent, Coach, and Athletes Receive Recognition

In a ceremony at the Fairfax County Government Center, Braddock District "Champions of Character" awards went football player Matthew Orjuela, parent Beth McHale, recreational soccer player Marisa George, and recreational soccer coach John Kelleher. Joining the honorees in the photo are Braddock District Supervisor, John Cook; Director of the Dept. of Neighborhood and Community Services, Chris Leonard; and Braddock District Representative on the Fairfax County Athletic Council, Marcia Pape.       For more on the honorees, press 

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Elite Players Selected to U.S. U-20 WNT
Kaleigh Riehl (#18) and Carlyn Baldwin (#4) Travel to Canada

While most BRYC Elite players practiced alongside their club teammates in preparation for the 2014 US Youth Soccer National Championships, Carlyn Baldwin and Kaleigh Riehl took a different approach. The Under-18 BRYC 95 Elite teammates were more than 2,300 miles away, training at the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team camp in Seattle. And just four days before the National Championships, Baldwin and Riehl learned that they were two of the 21 players selected to travel to Canada in August to play for the United States in the 2014 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

“Kaleigh and I have known each other since we were 10 years old, and our dream was to go to Nationals with our club team and also play in World Cups,” Baldwin said. “It really is a dream come true for both of us to have these opportunities….”

At the conclusion of the U.S. Under-20 camp, Baldwin and Riehl were available for the BRYC semifinal game at the National Championship, adding to an experienced BRYC team that claimed the 2012 Under-16 Girls National title and made its third straight appearance at the National Championships. The growing success in the last few years is a testament to the philosophy of BRYC and coach Larry Best.

Best said the club’s goal is to develop players up so they’re peaking when going into college. Baldwin, now at the University of Tennessee, and Riehl, now at Penn State University, have learned to handle the pressure in an intense environment at the club level, and now on the international stage.  And, at 18 and 17 years old, respectively, Baldwin and Riehl are two of five U.S. players young enough to still be age-eligible for the 2016 FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup.

The work put in by Baldwin, Riehl and their BRYC teammates has led to many opportunities and successes as a team. Following the 2012 National Championship, the side compiled back-to-back US Youth Soccer National League titles — going 6-0-1 each of the last two seasons. And although they came up short at last year’s National Championships, Riehl said the experiences at the championships have been “incredible.”

As Best said, Baldwin and Riehl’s determination to achieve their goals helped create those opportunities for exposure at the club level, which has carried over to their recent success at the National Team level. Before they could think about the World Cup, however, Riehl and Baldwin were focused on the Youth Soccer National Championships. Baldwin said it would be tough missing the group games, but she had faith in her BRYC teammates to show their talent against some difficult opponents.

“Every year we’ve been at Nationals, the competition has been phenomenal,” Baldwin said. “Winning the National Championships — that momentum would be great because it would mean so much to us. Being on that high from winning would be fantastic. No matter what the results turn out to be, playing with our team, playing against great competition — the speed of play will be fast, as well — it will help us prepare for the World Cup.”

BRYC Gunners Earn ODSL Honors
Boys Win Sportsmanship Award While Compiling a 5-1-2 Record

It isn't every season that a team with a great record is also able to earn the respect of its opponents as the best sportsmen in the ODSL, but during the Spring 2014 season, Coach Mohammed Diaw and his U11 (now U12) Boys, who just completed their third season in the highly competitive ODSL, did just that. Finishing second in their division with a record of 5-1-2, the team won the post-season voting by each of the other clubs to bring home the Randy Rawls sportsmanship award for their first time...the only BRYC squad to be so honored in the Spring 2013 season. Team Manager Eddie Colter took the team photo after their first game of the fall season, where the boys again finished 5-1-2, compiling an impressive 16-4-4 record over their first three seasons of action. Along with all the other ODSL award winners, the boys got to attend a DC United match in recognition of their accomplishment. Congratulations to the boys and their coach not just for winning games but for being good sports at the same time.

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