The AC Cugini Story
AC Cugini is an official Italian soccer academy (scuola calcio) based in Northern Virginia (with facilities in Rome, Italy), committed to providing the BEST soccer training for young soccer players, recreational or travel, in a fun and stimulating environment. AC Cugini believes that excellent training and coaching is THE source for not only bringing out the best soccer skills in each child but for enhancing fine character as well.
AC Cugini offers a unique program compared to all other soccer clubs in the Washington DC area and throughout the United States. Our uniqueness stems from being an academy/school first and then a club; being an official ITALIAN soccer acadeny, a rarity in the United States; and having the distinction of being the first and only youth soccer academy in North America sanctioned by the Italian National Olympic Committee (Comitato Olimpico Nazionale Italiano - CONI) and the Italian Soccer Federation (FIGC).
In addiiton, our coed house league players (ages 6-9) receive training from professional instructors (not parent volunteers) at EVERY practice while our SFL recreational players receive training from professional instructors once a week.
As AC Cugini is an academy first and foremost, all AC Cugini coaches and trainers closely follow the same world renowned and successful Italian National Olympic Committee sanctioned player development program, designed to follow a player from age 6 to age 18. So even if a coach or trainer leaves AC Cugini, the training remains consistent and the player’s skills progress without interruption.
AC Cugini offers a full complement of licensed coaches and trainers in Virginia and at our training academy in Rome that allows us to bring additional UEFA licensed coaches from Italy to the United States; take teams to Italy for tournaments; offer training for coaches and players year round in Italy; and arrange tryouts for talented players - both male and female - with professional Italian clubs.
Commitment to Making Soccer Possible for All
While AC Cugini training is unsurpassed, fees are kept low so that this unique soccer opportunity is affordable for all. Also, AC Cugini does not believe that travel teams should only be for those players who can afford the high expense of travel soccer. Therefore, we offer scholarships to residents of Fairfax County with financial need, whether for recreational or travel team membership. We do not leave scholarship decisions to parents on travel teams, the school sets asides funds to be distributed to children with financial need. Cugini officials also worrk with every family who may not qualify for a scholarship yet still needs some from of assistance or special payment arrangemements so no qualified child is ever turned away from particpating on a Cugini travel team.
To further the growth of a “soccer academy” environment throughout the United States, AC Cugini opens its training programs in Virginia and Italy to non-member coaches and players. This sharing of knowledge with other U.S. soccer organizations is a strong component of AC Cugini’s philosophy that everyone in the soccer community can benefit from a soccer academy model, which, in turn, strengthens American soccer players, whether they choose to play in the United States or overseas.
From the Beginning
After coaching youth soccer in Washington, DC, and Northern Virginia, Cugini Founder and President Fabio Diletti, an Italian native who played goalkeeper for professional Italian club Ascoli Calcio (founded in 1898)
, started his own summer soccer training program in 1999 in Great Falls, VA, that was followed by a winter program. The success of those programs and continued interest from players and their parents led him to create an Italian soccer academy and club modeled after the soccer academies he grew up with and trained at in Italy.
Early Affiliations & League Memberships
In 2000, AC Cugini became a member of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association, U.S. Youth Soccer, the U.S. Soccer Federation, the Old Dominion Soccer League (ODSL) and the Suburban Friendship League (SFL). In 2002, AC Cugini affiliated with professional Italian club AC Perugia - at the time an Italian premier league Serie A club. During Summer 2003, AC Cugini offered its first guest trainer from Italy program with an instructor from AC Perugia. In 2005, the National Capital Soccer League (NCSL) and Washington Area Girls Soccer (WAGS) accepted AC Cugini as a member.
In 2006, AC Cugini affiliated with ASD-COR 2005 of Rome, Italy, to add to its facilities and enhance training opportunities overseas. In February 2008, Cugini President Fabio Diletti travelled to Florence, Italy, to sign a formal affiliation with Italian premier league club ACF Fiorentina. In June 2008, AC Cugini players participated in their first ACF Fiorentina training camp in Italy.