One of the teams in the LGBT sports community of Washington that always seem to have a full lineup of playing opportunities are the Federal Triangles Soccer Club (federaltriangles.org).
It’s currently in the middle of another season of the Summer of Freedom League, the only LGBT soccer league in the D.C. area. The League brings together men and women players from their upper and lower division club leagues, pickup players, new players and their straight allies.
The League utilizes a nine-on-nine coed format with a minimum of three women on the field at all times. The majority of the games are played on a turf field at the Columbia Heights Educational Campus on Tuesday nights.
One of the mainstays of the Triangles is its weekly pickup games which are now being run on Sunday mornings from 9-11 a.m. near the MLK Memorial in West Potomac Park. Recently, the players gathered on a Saturday morning to patch holes in the field with dirt provided by the National Park Service.
This year, the Triangles are also providing Friday Night Lights Pickup games once per month (usually the last Friday) during the warmer months. The games are played at Bundy Field at 429 O Street and the event is free for members and $5 for non-members.
Another pillar of the Triangles schedule is the FTSC Academy which was launched in 2006 and serves as the educational arm that serves to help players improve their soccer skills.
“We have been offering three clinics per year,” says Jim Ensor, club trainer. “This fall the clinic will also serve as a tune-up for the women’s fall season. Following that is the clinic which coincides with our Turkey Bowl.”
The Turkey Bowl is the Triangles’ annual Thanksgiving party and is a one-day coed soccer tournament on the Saturday before Thanksgiving. It’s a casual day of soccer and players of all skill levels are welcome.
The Triangles also host two competitive tournaments: the Women’s Winter Wrap-Up Indoor Cup and the Rehoboth Beach Classic. The Women’s Wrap Up is held annually in March and registration has just opened for the Rehoboth Beach Classic, which is coed and will be held from Aug. 30-Sept. 1.
Registration for the Rehoboth event is individual and players are selected into squads of six or seven players that stay together throughout the tournament and are paired with different squads to form a complete 12-14 person team for each game. The format is 11 versus 11 on grass fields and the rotating squad format enables the players to spend time on the field with the entire roster of players before the end of the tournament.
“Next year we will be sending teams to the Gay Games in Cleveland and we are always looking to welcome new players,” Ensor says. “Our lineup of activities allows us to come in contact with a diverse base of players.”
Coming up after the Rehoboth Tournament, the Triangles will be co-hosting the United Night Out on Sept. 15 as the D.C. United take on the L.A. Galaxy at RFK Stadium. The annual event is a great opportunity for the LGBT community to experience a professional soccer match in a safe and welcoming environment.