Virginia Beach City FC Announces TJ Cyrus as the Club's First Professional Signing
NORFOLK, Va. (May 6, 2019) — Virginia Beach City FC is proud to announce collegiate national champion and Virginia Beach native TJ Cyrus as the club’s first professional signing for the 2019 season.
“TJ’s been a part of our team since day one,” said Virginia Beach City FC head coach and vice president of soccer operations Brian Hinkey. “He really solidified himself as a leader of our group that first year and became the captain of our team. He’s really bought into what we’re doing in the community. He’s bought into the vision of where we want our team to go. We’ve always wanted to try and reach this professional level and this year is another step in that direction, and TJ’s always been supportive of that and believed in that vision of what we’re trying to accomplish.”
Cyrus, who’s been a part of the VB City FC organization since its inception, will play along the backline and will serve as team captain once again.
“(Brian) and I have really developed a good relationship over the years,” Cyrus said. “A lot of trust. I’m one of the senior members on the team, especially now, who’ve been around for a while at many levels of the game. The working relationship we have is pretty special and I think in his mind, it made sense and was an easy fit.”
Cyrus has a storied career of success. He started working with USA national programs at 13 years old and played on the United States’ U18 national team in multiple overseas tournaments. Cyrus attended the University of Virginia and was a part of the Cavaliers’ 2009 National Championship run. After graduating and taking a year off from the sport, Cyrus spent a season with the now-defunct Hampton Roads Piranhas. After that season, Cyrus joined Hinkey and VB City FC.
“I got to know Brian through the (Virginia Beach) Fieldhouse and the local soccer community. He’s a pretty good guy and it was an easy decision for me to pursue it,” Cyrus said. “From there, that’s when things really started to kick off between us.”
The 30-year-old veteran suffered a hamstring injury last season that forced him to miss most of VB City FC’s schedule. Cyrus is now fully healed and is participating in Virginia Beach City FC’s team workouts at Explosive Performance at OneLife Fitness Redmill. Hinkey says Cyrus will continue to serve as a leader both on the pitch and in the locker room.
“As a player, he’s got a tenacity about him where he can really lead by example,” Hinkey said. “He’s also a vocal leader, whether it’s on the field or in the locker room. He brings a very positive and professional mentality to the team. I think that’s why we really want to make him kind of the cornerstone of our group and announce him as our first signing.”
“I think they can expect a very high level of soccer in comparison to previous offerings over the past years,” Cyrus said. “This team, in particular, is going to be very talented because all of these players are post-college, pursuing a professional career. You have guys at different levels, guys who work for a living but at the same time excelled in their college careers and now want to continue playing for as long as they can. You have guys reaching the higher leagues and who want a platform to showcase their abilities and skills.”
Cyrus, who has played as a defensive midfielder in the past for VB City FC, is expected to serve as a centerback this coming season.
“He’s got great vision for the game and knows where to be, in terms of getting into great starting position,” Hinkey said. “As a defensive player, he’s going to be incredibly strong and tenacious. On the ball, he’s going to be very calm and composed and be able to help set us up out of the back.”
Virginia Beach City FC will open their 2019 season on the road at FC Baltimore on Sat., May 11 at 7 p.m. The club then returns home for three straight home matches at VB City FC’s new home stadium, Powhatan Field. Cyrus said that the club has put in extra time this offseason preparing for their transition to the professional level and that he’s looking forward to getting the season underway.
“I knew that the caliber of player we were going to get this summer was going to increase,” Cyrus said. “It was really exciting for me to continue to work with guys at a higher level who are pursuing the game on a serious level for themselves and for us as a team. With that increased quality in the squad, I think fans should have high expectations. I know I certainly do.”
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