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    Cavalry coming with new soccer franchise

    The long awaited name of Loudoun's first professional soccer team was unveiled Feb. 6 at the Bungalow Lakehouse in Sterling.

    Following a viewing of the U.S. National Team's World Cup qualifying match against Honduras, which resulted in a 2-1 loss by the U.S., Director of Soccer Operations Mark Simpson and Soccer Hall of Famer John Harkes unveiled Virginia Cavalry FC as the new team name.

    The Virginia Cavalry FC will play their home games in the ball park at One Loudoun and share the space with the Loudoun Hounds. The team is scheduled to begin play in the fall of 2014.

    “This is an unbelievable name and it depicts what we are as a team. We are a group of individuals fighting for an ultimate goal,” Simpson said. “It was a lengthy selection process and we had more than 1,000 suggestions for team names. Once we narrowed it down to three finalists, we had a total of 1,600 votes, Cavalry was a clear and majority favorite.”

    Other names considered for the team were Dominion and Stallions.

    Cavalry was suggested by Connor Rouch, a 14-year-old, eighth grader from Harper Park Middle School in Leesburg. His favorite soccer team is the Leesburg Football Club Rangers.

    Rouch was introduced to the crowd, accompanied by his father, Bill and posed for a photo with Harkes, Simpson, Soccer Hall of Famer Eddie Pope and event emcee NBC Sports’ Russ Thaler.

    As a result of winning the contest Connor received the grand prize of tickets to the inaugural Cavalry game in 2014 and an official home jersey.

    Simpson explained during his address how much he wanted to make the soccer team a family-oriented event.

    “Obviously, the NASL and this franchise want to make it a family event. The One Loudoun ballpark is going to be that entertainment for Northern Virginia and we want to make you guys feel just as much a part of us as we want to feel a part of you. I think that is where the team behind this, such an incredibly talented group of individuals that Bob [Farren] has put together, makes this really, really exciting,” Simpson said.

    Harkes shared the importance and why it is so great for soccer to be coming out here to Loudoun County.

    “I think that the number one thing is building relationships and that is what leads to a lot of success. Having a plan in place, which the VIP group has, the community is going to be the one reaping the benefits,” Harkes said. “This area here has been waiting for something like this for so long and now we are going to be able to give everybody what they really want.”

    Simpson was very excited about the showing of support from the community at Bungalow Lakehouse.

    “I am absolutely humbled at how many people came out to support us tonight,” Simpson said.
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