The Washington Post

Northern Virginia creating even more soccer stars

In Ashburn, Francisco Granados, center, his wife, Hilda Luz Granados and their son Nicholas talk with their daughter Lina Granados via Skype from Bogota last week. (Tracy A. Woodward/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Two more Northern Virginia high school students are on the road to serious soccer greatness. Check out:

Lina Granados, playing here for Briar Woods High School, is trying out for the Colombian national under-20 team. (Courtesy of Francisco Granados)

And in Manassas Park, 15-year-old Herbert Mejia-Flores is being pursued by both Major League Soccer, which has offered a $130,000 signing bonus, and by a club in Germany. He’s also training with the U.S. under-17 team in Florida, according to a report by David Fawcett on Fawcett has a video interview with Mejia-Flores, which is below. [UPDATE: Mejia-Flores has turned down MLS, InsideNova’s Fawcett reports.]

All of which got me thinking about the legitimacy of NoVa’s claim to fame as a soccer hotbed for future stars. We sort of take credit for Mia Hamm, who played one year for Lake Braddock High School in Burke and is perhaps the greatest American women’s soccer player ever. More recently we have Ali Krieger of Forest Park High School in Woodbridge, who scored a World Cup game-winning penalty kick last year. C.J. Sapong, who also went to Forest Park, was the MLS rookie of the year last season for Sporting Kansas City.

But who are the all-time Northern Virginia soccer greats? Leave your nominations below, both men and women players, and I’ll seek out opinions from some NoVa soccer experts and report back soon.

Tom Jackman is a native of Northern Virginia and has been covering the region for The Post since 1998.


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