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Annapolis Soccer Club Annapolis, Maryland

MARYLAND RUSH ANNAPOLIS



What is Maryland Rush Annapolis?

“Maryland Rush Annapolis” is the travel soccer program of Annapolis Soccer Club (ASC). 

Annapolis Soccer Club is a non-profit youth soccer organization having three general programs for outdoor soccer: Clinic (U4-U8), County (U8-U19), and Travel (U8-U19).

The Annapolis Soccer Club Clinic Program is sometimes referred to as a “house league,” meaning it operates internally with ASC teams playing games only against other ASC teams.  The number of players in the ASC Clinic varies from season to season but generally can be between 200-250 players ages U4-U8.

The ASC County Program for ages U8-U19 is one of the largest recreational soccer programs, with roughly 400-500 players each season, in Anne Arundel County.  All of the ASC County teams play in the Anne Arundel County Youth Soccer Association (AAYSA).  The ASC County program is the club’s largest outdoor program.

The Annapolis Soccer Club Travel Program operates under the name “Maryland Rush Annapolis.”  Annapolis Soccer Club adopted this moniker for its travel soccer program in 2013 and amended its Bylaws in 2013 to state that ASC is “doing business with respect to is travel program as ‘Maryland Rush Annapolis.’”  ASC’s Maryland Rush Annapolis travel soccer program had 11 teams this spring with 150-160 players.

In recent years we have seen the growth of national youth soccer brands.  Two of those active in Anne Arundel County are Liverpool FC International Academy and Rush Soccer.  The Arundel Soccer Association runs the Liverpool FCIA brand in Anne Arundel County, while Annapolis Soccer Club runs the Rush brand.

The way these national brands typically work is that they license their brand to local soccer clubs around the country and with that license provide various types of support such as college advisory programs for players interested in playing in college, websites, training materials, guest playing opportunities, regional or national camps, and regional or national select-teams.

With the examples of Liverpool FCIA and Rush Soccer, each national brand has several licensees in Maryland.  Liverpool FCIA is associated with two clubs in Maryland: the former Locomotive FC in Hagerstown, MD, and Arundel Soccer Association (ASA) here in Anne Arundel County.  Rush Soccer has four licensees in Maryland: Football Club of Bowie in Bowie, MD, Maryland Rush Montgomery (formerly Seneca Soccer Club) in Montgomery County, MD, and Southern Maryland Rush in Prince Charles County.

The team names can sometimes be confusing, as all of the Liverpool FCIA teams from Hagerstown and Anne Arundel use the “Liverpool FCIA” name. The same is true of the Rush team because they all use the “Maryland Rush”  name. Similarly, all of the teams from each national brand wear the same uniform regardless of their local club affiliation.  The clubs use the naming conventions and uniforms because each national club promotes a particular style of soccer training and a specific development structure.  The players benefit from this in connection with college recruiting, tournament placement, league placement, and guest playing.

With respect to the Rush clubs in Maryland, each club is a separate non-profit youth soccer organization serving its own area.  Like Annapolis Soccer Club, these other non-profits have volunteer Boards of Directors. The Rush Soccer licensing model has been that it grants an exclusive license to a local club in a particular geographic area.  Early on, the exclusive licenses were granted on a state-by-state basis.  The exclusive licensee in a particular state could then sub-license to other local clubs in their state.

The exclusive license to the Rush Soccer brand in Maryland was purchased in 2011 by the Football Club of Bowie, previously known as Bowie Soccer United.  After purchasing the exclusive license, it transitioned to operating its teams under “Maryland Rush.” In 2013, sub-licenses to the Rush brand were granted to two clubs in Maryland, Seneca Soccer Club in Montgomery County and Annapolis Soccer Club in Anne Arundel County.  Thereafter, Seneca Soccer Club operated its travel teams under the name “Maryland Rush Montgomery,” and Annapolis Soccer Club operated its teams under the “Maryland Rush Annapolis.” A third sub-license was granted in 2019 to Southern Maryland Rush, which is based in the southern Maryland counties of Prince Charles, Calvert, and St. Mary’s.

A group of Annapolis Soccer Club coaches started the travel soccer program in 2007.  Which initially had three travel teams in the BU11, BU10, and GU11 age groups.  The initial three ASC travel teams did very well through U12, but all three teams failed to survive past U13 because they did not have enough players to compete in full-sided soccer.  In two instances, the team merged with a team from another local club for U13, and in the third instance, the team disbanded.

During the first 5-6 years, ASC’s travel program had between 2 and 5 teams playing in the Baltimore Beltway Soccer League.  ASC applied to the National Capital Soccer League (NCSL), and that application was denied.  The U9-U12 teams at that time played 7 v 7 or 8 v 8 and played their home games on the small Key School Beach Field because Annapolis Soccer Club did not have sufficient fields for their home games.  One year we had a BU14 team that played all of its games away because we had no 11 v 11 game field to provide for them.

After those first 5 or 6 years, ASC felt that we were not providing opportunities for players that wanted to advance to higher levels of soccer and potentially play in college, so we looked for ways to remedy that problem.  In 2013, the ASC board decided to bolster the travel program by becoming a licensee of the Rush brand and adopting the name “Maryland Rush Annapolis” for its travel program.  That license allowed the ASC travel teams to play in the NCSL and the Washington Area Girls Soccer League (WAGS), later giving them opportunities to play in the National Premier League and providing the ASC travel teams with extensive support for players.

At the time ASC was negotiating the Rush sublicense with the Football Club of Bowie, ASC Board members were very concerned that after investing significant time and energy in building the Rush brand in Anne Arundel County, the sublicense would be pulled out from under ASC and possible given to another club in the area.  To alleviate those concerns, it was agreed that ASC Board member Tim DeWitt would serve as a volunteer Board member for both clubs to ensure continuity between the clubs and to protect the Maryland Rush Annapolis branch. 

Since 2013, the ASC Maryland Rush Annapolis travel program has been hugely successful, growing from 3 teams in 2013 to 10-15 teams in any given year.  Those initial three Maryland Rush Annapolis teams succeeded in placing many players on college teams and had players with hugely successful high school soccer careers.  The Rush 00 girls, which had players from Annapolis HS, St. Mary’s HS, South River HS, and the Key School, played in the Maryland State Cup semi-finals twice and in the championship game once. That same team won their division in the National Premier League.  That team placed two players on NCAA D1 teams on scholarship and placed many players on NCAA D3 teams.  The Rush United 99 boys, which mostly had players from Annapolis HS but also had players from Key School and Broadneck HS, placed seven players on NCAA D3 teams.

Since 2013, the club has worked on building Maryland Rush Annapolis travel teams from young ages and has girls teams in each the U9-U14 and U17 age groups and boys teams in the U9-U11 U14-U15 and U17 age groups. The U11-U17 teams play in the Elite Development Program (EDP), and the U9-U10 teams play in the more local Central Maryland Short Sided League (CMSSL).

 

Annapolis Soccer Club

PO Box 5201 
Annapolis, Maryland 21403
Email : [email protected]
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