Loudoun United Prepares for 2021 Season

With opening day fast approaching, Loudoun United is preparing for its 2021 season after a busy off-season that saw changes in players and coaching.

As the United Soccer League affiliate for D.C. United, much of the focus is on preparing talented players for the major league team.

“Ultimately, you know, the aim and the goal of Loudoun United is to fast-track our younger guys into the first team, and I think we’ve always got to have one eye on that,” said Technical Director Stewart Mairs during a virtual press conference March 8.

That can make Loudoun United games a good place to see upcoming talent before they hit the majors.

“We want those younger guys to be playing against real men, getting real minutes, in a professional environment so that when they come to first team […] they’re ready to go,” Mairs said.

That can present challenges for Loudoun United on the field.

“It’s a problem in the minute, where, yeah, you lose a Griffon [Yow] or a Kevin [Paredes] or a Moses [Nyeman], you know, but then on the scheme of things when you step back, you understand the bigger purpose of what we’re doing,” said Head Coach Ryan Martin. “It’s exciting, and it’s exciting when you can get young kids up to the first team, and guys that are actually getting minutes.”

Yow, Paredes and Nyeman are all young players who went to the major league club after playing for Loudoun United. Paredes, 17, is a midfielder from South Riding. Yow, 18, is from Clifton, and Nyeman, 17, hails from Liberia. Martin said the local area is “a hotbed for young talent.”

The promotions of the top talent to D.C. United don’t mean the team can’t be exciting to watch on the field.

“I think we’ve got a very exciting roster where we will have a lot of different attacking pieces, we’ll have a lot of different pace, a lot of ways that we can get in behind oppositions,” Martin said. “I think our center backs will give us the ability to play a higher line, to press more. So I’m very excited about where the roster is.”

Most recently, the club signed four new players in February, including three from overseas. Goalkeeper Jermaine Fordah from London, winger Darluis Paz from Venezuela, and midfielder Landry Nanan Houssou from Ivory Coast joined the team alongside New York native and midfielder Barakatulla Sharifi.

Martin said the team wants to play “fun, attacking soccer,” adding,= “I think some of these internationals […] are going to be some fan favorites.”

Although season and mini-plan tickets are on sale, the team’s schedule has not yet been announced. According to the United Soccer League, the team will play each of its division opponents four times, twice at home, twice away. Loudoun plays in the Eastern Conference Atlantic Division with Charleston Battery, Charlotte Independence, Hartford Athletic, Miami FC, New York Red Bulls II, Pittsburgh Riverhounds SC and the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

They will play four more games outside their division.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the team, which plays home matches at Segra Field near Leesburg, is taking additional precautions including limiting attendance, requiring facemasks, enacting additional cleaning and sanitizing procedures.

One thought on “Loudoun United Prepares for 2021 Season

  • 2021-03-11 at 4:17 pm

    How interesting. When can Loudoun taxpayers expect repayment for all the money we’ve thrown at this issue?

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