Reviewing Virginia Beach City FC's Transformational 2018 Season, Part I
Whether it was the team partnership with Major League Soccer’s DC United, or the growth of VB City FC and the National Premier Soccer League as a whole, 2018 was a transformative year for Virginia Beach City FC and for soccer in the Hampton Roads area. Here are some of 2018’s highlights.
VB City FC and DC United team-up to boost soccer in Hampton Roads
On Feb. 2, 2018, Virginia Beach City FC and DC United announced a strategic partnership that has benefitted both clubs since it’s inception.
The agreement calls for annual friendlies between the two clubs, as well as DC United leading educational and coaching sessions for VB City FC staff. Virginia Beach City FC is also hosting DC United Talent Centers, where the top players in the region are scouted and coached by DC United coaching staff.
“We're excited and optimistic about building a strong partnership with Virginia Beach City FC," Ryan Martin, Director of D.C. United Academy, said in February. "The club and region of Virginia has produced top-class soccer prospects in the past and we're excited to work with the club to create the ideal pathway to professional soccer and specifically Major League Soccer for the elite soccer players in the Tidewater region."
Coach Hinkey named Head Scout of Hampton Roads for DC United
Not long after Virginia Beach City FC and DC United announced their partnership, VB City FC head coach Brian Hinkey was named the Head Scout of the Hampton Roads metropolitan region. Hinkey, who is also the Vice President of Soccer Operations at VB City FC, led VB City FC to an undefeated regular season in 2017 and has had two players taken in the MLS SuperDraft.
“We couldn’t be more excited to add Brian to the scouting team, with his background, knowledge, and passion he will be a tremendous asset in a very talented area,” D.C. United Academy Director Ryan Martin said in April. “Brian will lead our efforts in the Hampton Roads area and give a professional pathway to not only the VB City FC players but the entire Hampton Roads community. I look forward to a long relationship."
Virginia Beach City FC finishes 2018 NPSL regular season on a high note
It was an up and down season on the field for VB City FC, but the club still achieved many things in 2018.
VB City FC finished the regular season at 4-4-3, falling just shy of the NPSL playoffs. Forwards Sebastian Refi and Trevor Knight led VB City FC in scoring, netting five goals apiece.
Virginia Beach City FC’s match vs. FC Frederick on June 23 was the first match to be streamed in VB City FC history on the team’s website. Streams of each home match will resume in 2019.
The boys finished the 2018 season on a two-match win streak, outscoring their final two opponents 10-1. VB City FC knocked off Legacy 76 on July 1, completing the season sweep for VB City FC. Northern Virginia United traveled to the Virginia Beach Sportsplex on July 7 to finish the regular season, only to fall to Virginia Beach City FC 7-1.
Refi and Davis Named to Mid-Atlantic Conference XI
Sebastian Refi and Jordi Davis were instrumental to VB City FC’s success in 2018, and the two were recognized for their performance by being named to the Mid-Atlantic Conference XI. Refi finished the 2018 season tied for the team lead in goals with five, while Davis led a defense that allowed just 1.27 goals per match.
VB City FC announces creation of professional team for the 2019 season
The biggest news of 2018 came on Nov. 26, 2018, when Virginia Beach City FC announced that the semi-professional team will become a fully professional team for the 2019 season. The move joined VB City FC with the Richmond Kickers and Loudon United as the only other professional soccer teams in Virginia competing on a national stage.
“We are excited to be launching a professional soccer team in Hampton Roads, Virginia under the Virginia Beach City FC banner,” said Steven Wagoner, VB City FC President and Owner. “This is another step forward in the Hampton Roads Metro region to have the full player development pathway and also give fans their very own professional team.”
The NPSL is a highly successful soccer league with 100 teams nationwide. Virginia Beach City FC will now deliver a longer regular season and a higher level of play, as well as an enhanced matchday experience for fans at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex.
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