A Double Threat

The Lloyd Brothers Take DC-Grown Soccer Skills to an International Stage

Miles and Marshall Lloyd

While the Netherlands is commonly associated with tulips, windmills, wooden shoes, and cheese, this spring two Capitol Hill students, Marshall and Miles Lloyd, who happen to be brothers plan to make their mark on its soccer fields as invitees of the FC Utrecht Academy, an international soccer academy in the Netherlands. 

Miles, a sixth grader, and Marshall, a third grader, were chosen from a pool of candidates based on their performance at the FC Utrecht North American Academy National Camp held this summer in Rome, Ga. The Lloyd brothers are students at Two Rivers Public Charter School and players for the Capital Futbol Club (CFC) on Capitol Hill. They share common interests, but they have differing soccer styles. Miles has developed into a style master, with a host of skill moves and quality passing and shooting that can bring crowds to their feet. Marshall has developed a level of hardnose hustle, determination, and skill that separates him from the pack.

Had you asked their parents only a few years back about the likelihood of Miles and Marshall playing soccer, they might have given you a blank expression. Neither parent had soccer on the radar for their children, but when Miles expressed an interest, they supported him.

In his first season, when Miles started playing with Soccer on the Hill (SOTH) at the U8 age level, he demonstrated an intuitive sense of the game. He could use both feet nearly equally, which is rare with young children, and this advantage propelled his ball handling skills and scoring abilities and opportunities. Miles was not only outscoring most others, but as a result of his willingness to be a team player helped to elevate the play of his teammates.

As his talents and soccer IQ increased, Miles advanced to play at the U9 and U10 levels. He gained the attention of the Capitol Futbol Club travel team coach, Tudor Stanciu, and was invited to guest-play with the U9 team in a tournament in Virginia. In the four matches Miles executed a variety of skill moves and quality dribbling and scored a resounding eight goals – no small accomplishment for someone being introduced to a more competitive level of soccer. His CFC coach of the last three years, Stanciu, observes that “Miles is a smart player with fantastic foot skills and a clinical shot. His anticipation of the game, decision making, and ball delivery set him apart in a group of many talented players.”

Miles commented about his FC Utrecht North American Academy National Camp. “When my parents said we are going to Georgia, I was really excited because I knew this would be my start of being a pro soccer player. When it was day one, I was really nervous but when I nutmegged this kid, I lost that nervousness, and for the next five days I was in control and ready for the next level.” 

In addition to being invited to Utrecht camp, Miles has been selected to try out for the US Youth Soccer Program. As soccer’s governing body in the United States, the program is charged with developing the teams that represent the United States in all international competitions such as the Olympics and World Cup.

Meanwhile, for Marshall, as the younger brother, Miles’s example and both informal and formal tutelage helped inform his own decision to pursue soccer. After all, soccer quickly became the primary sport of choice that the two watched on weekends and played in their backyard and the area park. Like many younger soccer brothers, Marshall would be designated to serve as goalie, or defender, or simply someone to practice passing to, with the occasional demonstration of the proper way to block a ground shot, do a step-over, or shoot without using the toe. They would watch video after video of soccer techniques for shooting and dribbling, then watch even more videos of professional players they wanted to emulate.

While playing with Miles has certainly elevated Marshall’s level of play, his style is unique, especially for an eight-year-old. Marshall will be the youngest player at the international soccer academy in Utrecht, but he is usually the youngest player on the pitch wherever he’s playing.

Marshall displays a passion and competitive spirit for the game that has propelled him to great heights. As a testament to his talents and competitive spirit, during one season at the U7 level, at age five, he scored nine goals during a single game. He regards his greatest achievement not the number of goals scored, however, but the fact that his team went undefeated for the season. Considering that he is usually playing with and against kids two and three years older than he, you can measure the true level of his skill.

Marshall has been with the U10 CFC travel soccer team since the age of seven and is regarded as one of the major players. There is already mention of him being called up to the US Youth Soccer Program. Marshall observes, “My visit to Georgia was fun. Meeting new friends, longest trip in a car (we drove), and playing soccer there. It was a new experience. I like playing there. Also I liked the practice shirts and I learned some new moves.”

Miles and Marshall see the opportunity to attend as a part of their growing soccer resume … and a fun event.  

Marshall confidently dribbles the ball past defenders. Photo: David Parse