ATLANTA, GA (February 10, 2016) – Two of Atlanta’s leading soccer clubs, North Atlanta Soccer Association (NASA) and Tophat Soccer Club, today announced a strategic alliance to create, NASA Tophat, one of the nation’s strongest youth soccer programs.

Tophat is a nationally-recognized youth soccer organization located in the Buckhead community, committed exclusively to serving girls soccer players throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area. Tophat is a perennial top performer in state, regional and national play, regularly placing girls in the Olympic Development Program, in the U.S. Youth National Team pools, and in top-tier collegiate women’s soccer programs. In 2015, Tophat was selected as a member of the girls Elite Club National League (“ECNL”).

NASA is a nationally-recognized youth soccer organization located in Cobb and Cherokee counties. NASA is a leader in boys and girls soccer in the southeast and nationally, developing both boys and girls for the U.S. National Team pools. As recently as 2013, NASA’s elite girls won the U.S. Youth National Championships. In January of 2016, NASA alum Emily Sonnett was both named to the U.S. Women’s National Team qualifying for the Rio Olympics and selected with the first pick in the NWSL draft. In addition to its success in girls soccer, NASA is a founding member of the Georgia United Development Academy, part of the boys U.S. Development Academy.

The combined girls programs will play under the Tophat brand and the boys program will operate under the NASA brand. Ted Colburn and Troy Garner, who have built Tophat into a leading national girls club, will oversee the girls programs, and Ray Tomlin, leader of the NASA boys program since 2008, will oversee the boys program. Dave Smith, Executive Director of NASA, will serve as Executive Director for NASA Tophat. Through the combined programs, Tophat and NASA girls will be able to participate in youth soccer from junior academy through competitive teams at all levels of Athena, Regional Premier League, National League and ECNL. On a combined basis, the programs will serve over 4,500 youth players.

“I am very excited about the partnership with NASA,” said Cy Strickler, founder and president of Tophat. “Our combined programs will provide girls in our community with a full range of teams and facilities to play and compete at every level.”

“NASA Tophat will offer boys and girls of all ages the training and development they need to excel. From Athena and Classic, through ECNL and U.S. Soccer Development Academy, we will have strength and teams for every level of player,” according to Dave Smith, Executive Director of NASA.

The combination will be effective beginning with tryouts for the 2016-2017 season. In the interim, club leaders will interact on a regular basis, hold informal practices and scrimmages of combined club players, and work together on integration planning. The clubs also will publish FAQs to club members and hold town hall meetings in the coming weeks for players and parents to learn more about the strategic alliance.

Tryouts for NASA Tophat’s academy, select, ECNL and DA programs will take place in May and June of 2016. For more information, visit:

Media Contact
Dave Smith