The new Arlington-based men’s soccer team Virginia Dream FC continues its inaugural season in early June with an international tournament that may put them on the pitch against Wales football darlings Wrexham AFC, owned by Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney and the subject of a hit FX reality show.
Now that we have your attention, Virginia Dream is also notable for taking a daring approach to supporting the club and its local players. Fashion and merchandise are the name of the game.
The new franchise, says club founder and owner Lucas Mendes, 25, “is rooted in creativity and forward thinking that will support players both on and off the field. Our mission is to have the ‘creative’ off the pitch match the level of play on it.”
Mendes, a standout player as a student at Washington-Liberty High in Arlington and the D.C. United Academy system, says that “the club’s projects will create an organic connection between soccer, art, fashion, and music, sparking a unique culture built around collaboration and hard work.” Photographer Jared Soares is the team’s creative director and assists Mendes in designing apparel. The team’s game jerseys boast a tie-dye square pattern, and its apparel comes in softer colors than you might expect from a men’s soccer team: pink, gray, light yellow. Find the apparel at virginiadreamfc.com.
The Dream’s National Premier Soccer League season began in early May and continues into the summer. (There are home games at 7 p.m. on June 21, 24, and 28.) But before then, is the eye-catching, five-day, seven-on-seven televised international tournament in Cary, North Carolina, that begins June 1 and features 32 teams from around the world competing for a winner-take-all $1 million prize. It is called, unabashedly, The Soccer Tournament, and features not only the Wrexham Red Dragons but Liga MX’s Necaxa (owned in part by Eva Longoria, Justin Verlander, and Kate Upton) and English Premier League’s Wolverhampton Wanderers FC.
This story originally ran in our June issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to Northern Virginia Magazine.