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Royals Hire Burke as PDL Coach
Former D.C. United Academy Coach replaces Torres

Northern Virginia Royals News Release --

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

WOODBRIDGE, Va. – The Northern Virginia Football Club (NOVA FC) eagerly announced today that Richie Burke will assume the role of head coach for the PDL Royals. Burke, the former professional player and DC United Academy head coach, replaces Tom Torres following two years at the Royals helm.

Burke will also serve as technical director for all of the Royals development programs, overseeing the coaching and training of the Super Y-League and adult level teams. One of his chief duties will be to foster player development through the West Ham Academy program already in place.

A native of Liverpool, England, Burke’s tenure with Northern Virginia follows several successful years with the DC United Academy program in which he helped engineer a MLS Youth Cup Championship in 2007. Currently the head coach of the National Cathedral School in Washington, DC, Burke also served as an assistant coach for the MLS DC United under Ray Hudson from 2001-2003.

In addition to coaching, Burke’s background includes numerous stints on the professional player side of the ball. After playing collegiate soccer at American University, Burke played for the Washington Diplomats before heading returning to England and joining Chester City FC. Burke retired as a professional player in 1994 following two successful indoor seasons on the Washington Warthogs.

Burke holds a USSF Full Badge Coaching License and National Youth Diploma as well as several other coaching credentials both in the US and abroad. He also holds previous USL coaching experience, serving as both a player and a coach of the then USISL Washington Mustangs in the early nineties.

“We are excited for the direction Richie will take our program,” commented Royals owner Mo Sheta. “He is a proven leader and has been an integral part of soccer in this area for numerous years.”

“I am looking forward to the product I know Richie will put on the field,” concluded Sheta.

The Northern Virginia Royals face a challenging schedule of PDL opponents in the upcoming season, including the Hampton Roads Piranhas and historical powerhouse Carolina Dynamo. The Royals will kick off their home season in May with a full schedule to be announced in late winter.

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