Following the departure of Richie Burke, the Northern Virginia Royals launched an expedited search to name a replacement head coach for the Premier Development League (PDL) squad. After examining a large list of qualified applicants, Royals management decided to pursue a selection that was intimately familiar with the 16 year old franchise.
Northern Virginia named veteran midfielder Grady Renfrow to lead the 2013 team, assuming both player and head coach duties for the season. A member of the Royals organization since 2004, Renfrow takes over as the fifth head coach in Northern Virginia team history.
“It is my goal to have the Royals playing confident and uncompromising soccer and no matter the opposition, we will always find the winning answer,” commented newly appointed coach Renfrow. “We already have a very good group of players so I can’t wait to prove our worth this season.”
A Washington DC native, Renfrow grew up playing soccer with Stoddert Soccer Club before suiting up at Gonzaga College High School. Following his youth career, Renfrow signed with Penn State University.
It was during his BIG 10 college stint that Renfrow spent his summers playing in the United Soccer League’s PDL with the local Northern Virginia Royals.
Immediately after graduating, Renfrow spent his rookie professional season in 2008 playing with DC United and their reserve team but then soon made the decision to try and play overseas. His soccer quest took him to the Egyptian Premiere League where he spent quality time with Zamalek and ENPPI before eventually landing a spot with the second division side El Gouna FC.
Renfrow’s next step found him with FC Leones of the Puerto Rican Soccer League where he and his teammates lifted the trophy as the 2011 PRSL Champions. The well-traveled midfielder eventually made the move from outdoor to professional indoor soccer and spent the 2011/2012 Major Indoor Soccer League season with the Rochester Lancers. 2011 also market a career high point when Renfrow was selected to the US Futsal National Team, where he competed in the 2011 Futsal Grand Prix in Manaus, Brazil.
“I have long envisioned myself in this position with the Royals, yet in some respects, I don’t even consider it the head coaching role,” comment head coach Renfrow. “To me, it’s more like a leadership position where all I have to do is communicate one goal for the team, and right now, the goal is to be there competing for a PDL championship.”
“I feel connected with the team and plan to input my experience when I can, but otherwise I want to help the team realize that they are already capable of winning the league,” concluded Renfrow.