Valley United & NRU Alliance

Over the past year the landscape of youth soccer has changed considerably across the state with many alliances and mergers forming between regional soccer clubs.   One of the main reasons for these transformational changes in youth soccer is the emergence of US Club Soccer and its affiliated leagues, the ECNL, the ECNL RL (Regional League) and the NPL.

As many of you heard in recent weeks, the leadership teams of both New River United and Valley United have been involved in several of these conversations as we weigh what is the right direction for each of our Clubs to pursue.  For this reason, both Clubs entered into dialogue pertaining to a three Club alliance under the guidance of an independent mediator.  Unfortunately, this arrangement did not work out.  However, as the discovery process of that venture was ongoing, the representatives from New River United and Valley United discovered common goals and similar ideals and it reinforced our belief and desire to increase the level at which our associations currently partner.

With that said, and with much excitement, the Board of Directors for both New River United and Valley United are pleased to announce that we will continue our ongoing discussions and enter into a formal Alliance beginning in the Fall of 2022 that both organizations believe will have a positive impact on all of our combined members and players.  The decision to form an alliance has come after much careful thought and consideration for the best interest of our Clubs today as well as in the future.  We believe that this decision to combine resources will allow for stronger player pools for all levels of soccer in Southwest Virginia.  

Concerning league placement, we have been invited into multiple leagues and are awaiting acceptance from others.  As soon as we have word from all leagues applied to, we will choose and announce which leagues our teams will participate in.  We anticipate this information in the next two weeks prior to tryouts.  

Joint tryouts will be held for players U13 to U19 in both Roanoke and Blacksburg.  Our staff envisions blended teams for some of the top tier teams and more home-based Valley or NRU teams for the next tier of teams.  Those trying out for U11 and U12 will remain in and tryout for their respective home clubs.   Players are encouraged to attend all tryout dates.  Please click the "2022-2023 Tryouts" link (upper right) for tryout dates and registration information.

We are looking forward to this venture and are excited about being able to provide an enhanced soccer experience for all, as New River United and Valley United come together in an Alliance for the betterment of soccer in Southwest Virginia.



The New River United & Valley United Board Members


Question and Answers

  1. Why are NRU and Valley United pursuing an Alliance at this point in time?
    1. The landscape of youth soccer across the region has changed significantly and alliance teams allow clubs to compete at a higher level where they can maintain competitive teams at each age group and level of play. Coming together makes this possible.
  2. What players are eligible for the alliance teams?
    1. Any U13 – U19 boy or girl soccer player (birthyears between 2010 and 2004)
  3. How are alliance players selected?
    1. Alliance players will be selected by the coaching staff from both NRU and Valley United. The technical coaching staff from NRU and Valley United will also ask experienced and reputable coaches outside of the two clubs to help evaluate with the tryout process. 

Players will be evaluated based on their Physical, Technical (Functional Skill at Game Speed), Tactical (Game Understanding and Player Intelligence) and Psychological (Social and Emotional Attributes) qualities as they relate to their potential and the player pool at the tryouts.

The Coaching Staff for the coming year (if decided at this point for a team), the Technical Directors, and the Directors of Coaching from both clubs will select the teams. Input can be, and often is, taken from the previous year’s coaches where appropriate.

More information will follow about the specific tryout procedure and process nearer the first tryout dates.

  1. Where will alliance teams practice?
    1. It is expected that most Alliance teams will practice once weekly in Roanoke, once weekly in the New River Valley and a third practice at their home clubs facilities.
  2. Does my child have to tryout for an alliance team?
    1. All players will tryout on the same date and locations for both alliance and home-based teams and are encouraged to attend all tryout dates.
  3. If my child doesn't make an alliance team, where do they play?
    1. Each club will work to place players that don’t make an alliance team on a home-based team with training at their home club.
  4. What leagues will our teams play in?
    1. An announcement will be coming soon with regards to league placement.
  5. My child is an Academy or recreation player. How does this impact them?
    1. This alliance will not have any impact on players born in 2011 and younger (U12, U11, Academy, Rec) as those programs will remain under the direction and management of their respective home clubs.