Can you tell us a bit about the club? Why the name Revolution?
The team was originally formed as the top of Rockdale Youth Soccer Association and their name was RYSA Revolution. New owners purchased the team in 2016 and kept the name Georgia Revolution, adding FC and changing the crest to differentiate from RYSA Revolution. The team has not been affiliated with RYSA since 2016.
What started as a single NPSL team in 2016 now has 4 adult teams and a strong youth program through our affiliates at AFC lightning and Southern Crescent Soccer Foundation. The club is very active in the community, growing soccer through free after-school programs.
What are some things that lower league soccer teams like the Georgia Revolution can offer that MLS clubs like Atlanta United can't?
This is a two part answer. The first is for the fans. We offer fans a minor league soccer experience similar to minor league baseball. It’s inexpensive, fun, and the fans are more part of the team. They interact directly with the players, coaches and front office. We know our season ticket holders and many other fans by name and spend time talking to them during and after the game. It’s really a cool experience. We're not trying to replicate the MLS, we are providing a different way to enjoy soccer.
For the players, it’s a chance to move into the professional ranks. The club is like a family, it’s not about the money (there isn't much) or personal ego, the players support each other, the coaching staff, and the club as a whole. We hear this from our players on all of our teams and it’s something we are very proud of.
Is there any collaboration with Atlanta United?
Not at this time. Hopefully in the future we can schedule a friendly with ATL United 2, or in a perfect world, face ATL United in a U.S. Open Cup match.
The club has a very developed youth and reserve system, with players from the U19s U21s and U23s often breaking into the first team. Is player development important to the Revolution?
Player development is the most important part of the Revs. We commit significant time and resources to make us the destination for players who have aged out of youth but want to continue to play at a high level. There are many quality players in the Atlanta area and we provide an option for those who commit to professional training, buy into our club philosophy, and want to play on competitive teams. This makes us unique, I don't know of any other club in our area (and possibly the U.S.) that so aggressively focuses on player development after youth and/or college and provides levels of play as high as the NPSL.
The Reserve teams compete in the Atlanta District Amateur Soccer League, how's the level of play in this league? Does it help prepare players for the first team?
Our Reserves, U23 and U21 (formally Revs Blue) all play in the ADASL. Our Reserves won the 1st division championship this year and are going to participate in the U.S. Open Cup qualifiers. Our U23 and U21 teams play in the 2nd division and are considered developmental teams that feed players to our Reserves. Six Reserves are now playing on the NPSL team. The level of competition in the ADASL is very high. Division 1 is not your typical Sunday league, most teams are comprised of former professionals and high level college graduates. The ADASL is entering its 52nd year and was recently designated a premier amateur soccer league by USASL.
Our youth play with our affiliate, AFC Lightning and Lake Country United FC. AFC is one of the oldest and most successful youth organizations in the state and we are very excited to have this new affiliation. Lake Country was our first affiliate and they are a great organization east of the Atlanta metro area which provides elite soccer in one of the most economically challenged areas of the state at a very low cost.
Does the club work with the community in McDonough at all?
Absolutely. We work with the Southern Crescent Soccer Foundation to provide free after-school soccer leagues in several elementary schools. Our goal is to give every child the opportunity to play soccer regardless of their financial means and to continue to grow the sport. In addition to that, we work with local businesses to promote each other and have developed some great relationships over the years.
There are a few players currently in college on the roster, can you say something about working with college players?
College players are a great addition to our NPSL team in the summer because they are fit and ready to play on day one. At times it’s a bit hit or miss, not all college players want to play in the summer for only the pride of wearing the badge. Over the years we have really refined who we take on the team, ensuring that they have the right attitude and want to be a Rev. The groups of college players we have now are fantastic both on and off the field.
There are also a good number of international players coming in from all over the globe. How does the club go about recruiting these players?
Atlanta is an international city. Most of our international players are local to the area, several of them are college players who play at local schools and want to continue playing with the revs during the summer.
What are long term visions for the club?
To continue to grow the sport. From our after-school programs to adult amateur to the NPSL, we are 100% focused on growing soccer and providing opportunity to players. Our goal is to one day consistently draw 1000 or more fans and become the pride of Henry County.
After the rebranding of the Silverbacks to Atlanta SC is the rivalry still alive?
Yes. Different name, same rivalry. The name change may not have gone over well with some of their fans, but Atlanta SC made the right decision based on many business factors and have kept the team alive. At the end of the day, all lower level clubs, including the Revs, are working towards long term sustainability and we support one another to make this happen.
Is there any player we should keep an eye out for this season?
There are a few but if I have to pick one, its Jack Gurr. He's our team captain and a dynamic player. He was an NAIA All-American and last season was NPSL Southeast All XI. I have no doubt he will sign a pro contract in the near future.
Anything else we should know about the club?
That we are a family. When a fan comes through the gate it’s our family members selling tickets, running the store, and doing the other dozens of things that make the match an entertaining experience. The Revs club is just that, a club that players, fans and staff can call home.
- Paul Kowalczyk
For more information on the Georgia Revolution:
Team Website: http://georgiarevolutionfc.com
Team Store: http://georgiarevolutionfc.com/store/
Follow on Twitter and Instagram: @GA_Revolution
Like on Facebook: @Georgia Revolution FC