Friday, April 11, 2014

Sport Has the Power to Change the World

It's easy to get caught up in the day to day routine of school, work, practice, games, and juggling the many other family activities you have. However, have you ever stopped to think about the impact we can have as a Club of 8,000 plus families? School networks can span hundreds of people, but we have THOUSANDS. We can work together as teams on the weekend to win games, but if we work together as a team of 8,000 players, we could truly impact our community.

Nelson Mandela once said, "sport has the power to change the world." I believe this, and I believe that CASL can play a small part toward this global vision by using soccer as a platform for awareness and change.  
7Up: one of the CASL teams who participated in the 4v4
Those of you that participated in the CASL Play 4Kay 4v4 in January have already had a hand in our collective efforts of improving the quality of life of those in our community. Together, we raised more than $14,000 for women's cancer research and related programs through the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. Others of you have volunteered your time in our Community Outreach programs, like HEART, where you have provided a positive experience for youth in our community. If you've purchased a pair of MiracleFeet socks, then you are helping a child in another country correct club foot and have the opportunity to play soccer. Many of you showcase your generosity through donations during registration. You took advantage of the option to donate money to CASL's Goal Assist Fund, which helps open up the CASL experience to youth in our community who may not otherwise have it. There are countless other ways you all have showcased your willingness to give back to the community that has supported us for so many years. And, we know that you all do many things on your own time or as a team - so please share those experiences and stories with us! We are excited to provide opportunities throughout this year (and the many years to come) for you or your team to be involved in efforts to improve the quality of life in Wake County.

CASL Food Drive: April 10-16

Most recently, we launched the CASL Food Drive to benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina. We kicked off the drive on Thursday night out at WRAL Soccer Center, and many parents, staff, and players came by to drop off food and other needed items (diapers, paper towels, toilet paper). We took 8 large boxes from the Food Bank for our drive, and nearly 3 of those are already filled only after one day of collecting. Those of you that came by yesterday received a 40th Anniversary commemorative t-shirt in exchange for you donation. We are planning to set up another major collection night out at WRAL so others of you have an opportunity to get a t-shirt - we'll keep you posted on those details. However, we are collecting food all week(end) at WRAL Soccer Center (bins are located at OSNC Building next to lost and found) and at the Woman's Club Drive CASL Office, so come by during our business hours (M, T, Th, Fr 12-5pm) and drop off food in exchange for a shirt! 
A few CASL players get their t-shirts after donating food
one full food drive bin!

 CASL Juggle-A-Thon: April 25 @6pm

While the food drive will have a local impact in our community, the Online Soccer Academy Juggle-A-Thon is meant to have a global impact. CASL participated in this juggle-a-thon many years ago, and we are bringing it back. Pledges that support the juggle-a-thon will 100% be supporting Nothing But Nets, a non-profit organization that provides malaria nets to children and adults in Africa. We'll be setting up a juggle-a-thon environment at Soccer Center with more details to come. In the mean time, you can go ahead and register as a juggler and start collecting your pledges!

CASL HEART: Spring Dates to Volunteer

Throughout this spring, CASL continues to host the HEART program for youth with intellectual disabilities. The program has grown to more than 60 registered youth participants. Practices take place on Saturday mornings at Davis Drive Park in Cary, and volunteers (individuals, teams) are welcome to be buddy players for each of the HEART participants. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

ECNL Blog Take Over: Part 3

Final Update:
CASL ECNL wrapped up their time in Spain at the end of last week. U14s went 2-0-1 over the course of their three games (3-0 vs. Rayo VAllecano, 0-0 vs. Madrid regional team; 4-1 vs. Madrid U16 cf) and the U16s went 1-1-1 against Madrid cf (2-1), Rayo Vallecano (3-3), and Madrid Regional Team (3-5). Morgon Goff on the U16s came away with two hat tricks and another goal on top of that for 7 total goals in Spain!


Mid-Week Update:
The CASL U14 and U16 ECNL teams are staying in touch while they are abroad in Spain this week. We just got another update from Beth Skinner, a CASL mom travelling with the teams. Accompanying her post are some pictures of teams.



From Beth:

We had a fun trip to Segovia. The town is very different from the hustle and bustle of Madrid.  As you arrive at the town the girls were in awe if the tall ancient Roman aqueduct. Walking down the cobblestone streets we saw many cathedrals.   Near the plaza de mayor they toured the main cathedral.  After lunch we has a nice view of the green countryside and ended our tour at the ancient castle.  We took lots of pictures.  Both teams have really bonded. 

At night we has our second game. CASL U14 ECNL. Vs a Madrid select team.  Both games were exciting to watch and were fast paced.  It only rained in the second half.    The parents were able to sit under a covered shelter.   The u14 girls game ended in a 0 to 0 tie. Shutouts by Marlayna Frutiger and Gabby Derosier. The referee called the game due to rain.

The u16 girls game was high scoring.  They came out with a loss with the score of 5 to 3 agsint the U18 Madrid regional team. Once again Morgan Goff has a hat trick. Her three goals were assisted by Daria Draovitch, Lily Schneider and Abby Staker.

We were all exhausted at the end of the day. 

We were glad for the late start today.  We toured the Real Madrid complex. The number and size of trophies the team has won through the years is amazing. The stadium looks quite a bit different with empty seats.  The girls met other soccer players today from France. They sat in the leather sideline seats for the players and took pictures beside the lockers of their favorite players.  They ended the tour with lunch in the Real Cafe overlooking the field.

Match 3 is tonight.  

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

ECNL Blog Take Over: Part 2

Hanna Dion, a member of the U14 CASL ECNL team travelling and playing in Spain this week sent in this report. I've included a few more pictures we've gotten as well. The U16 CASL Elite Boys are in Germany this week, and we'll be providing some of their updates this week as well. 

From Hanna Dion:

On day 1 of training we worked on using space and when to move forward. Day 2 we trained in our Real Madrid training gear and worked on recovery and shape. The Real Madrid youth directors ran our training sessions.

At night we watched Barcelona vs Athletico at a popular sports entertainment facility called  Marca.  It became extremely loud when each of the goals were scored. Spaniards are passionate about their Futbol. 

We were almost like the locals from Madrid because we rode the Metro to and from the hotel. The subway was very clean and had an awesome blue wall that looked like rain as you exited the train station near our hotel. 

Today it is raining. We will tour historic Segovia and play our second match tonight.  




Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ECNL Blog Takeover from Spain

Today's blog is taken over by '97 and '99 CASL ECNL teams who are currently in Spain. Beth Skinner, one of the mom's traveling with the teams and coaches, is sending pictures and anecdotes of their trip (despite the spotty wifi). See her pictures and write-up below!


The 99 and 97 CASL ECNL girls are having a great time in Spain. We toured the city of Madrid and had a chance to practice speaking and reading Spanish! Tapas, paella and churro are new to our vocabulary.  On Saturday we we attended the La Liga match Real Madrid vs Rayo Vallecano.  It was awesome.  The chants are nonstop. Ronaldo scored the first goal and Real Madrid went on to win 5 to 0. Sending Rayo Vallecano down to the second division.



On Sunday we toured the city of Madrid. In Plaza Mayor we saw many street entertainers performing for coins- tensile bulls and lots of visual illusions such as headless people.   One little boy about the age of 3 was fascinated by us and as he was leaving the Plaza with his Dad he turned to wave to us.    



In the afternoon, we toured the Spanish FA Complex and saw the 2010 World Cup and Euro 2008 and 2012. We watched exciting highlights of some unbelievable goals that resulted in the championships.


Our first training session with Real Madrid was great. It was challenging and we will have 4 additional sessions. 


We played our first of 3 games on Monday against women's teams from Rayo Vallecano. The u14s played against u16s and scored three goals for their first win. 3 to 0.  Avery Gardner, Grace Wagner and Audrey Prevost scored our goals, and Marlayna Frutiger and Gabby Derosier notched the shutout. Our mid field and defense were solid throughout the game with everyone contributing.  
The u16s played an exciting match against the Spanish National team comprised of u18s and above. Morgan Goff had a hat trick and led the team to a 3 to 3 tie.   CASL led the half 2 to 1. Rayo Vallecano brought on a few new team members and fresh legs in the second  half to end in a 3 to 3 tie.   

We celebrated our successes with pizza!   

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

CASL 40th Birthday Party Recap

CASL 40th Birthday Party Recap

Written by Kieran Downey, CASL Intern

This past Saturday, March 15th, CASL held its 40th Anniversary Celebration at WRAL Soccer Center. The event was a chance to celebrate the club’s history, to thank all the members for their support over the years, and to look forward at what the future has in store for CASL.  Though the wind tried to blow out the candles a bit early on the celebration, the beautiful 70 degree and sunny weather prevailed to provide the perfect atmosphere.

The festivities kicked off at 10am and ran strong till 2pm.  A few of our wonderful sponsors, fellow community members came out in full force to help celebrate with CASL.  Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bruegger’s Bagels, Carolina RailHawks, Crown Trophy, Top Form Soccer, Miracle Feet, and the EF Foundation for Foreign Study all participated in the celebration.  They provided guests with fun activities, prizes, and also promoted their fantastic organizations and causes.  CASL’s mascot Cleats the Dog was also on hand to pose for pictures and to keep the party going.

The Pit Authentic Barbecue was on site to sell their delicious North Carolina style barbecue.  The smell from their whole hog, pit-cooked barbecue wafted throughout WRAL, and I’m sure it rumbled the stomachs of many out at the park.  If you didn’t get a chance to try some on Saturday, I highly recommend that you get out to The Pit soon to see that North Carolina barbecue is the real deal. 

The celebration also featured a bounce house, courtesy of Inflate-A-Party, which kids went bonkers for.  Kids lined up several times to expend their seemingly endless energy jumping in and sliding down the bounce house, much to their parents’ delight.

 
The event culminated with CASL board member John Dalpe giving a brief speech on the club’s 40 years, a cake cutting ceremony featuring sheet cakes donated by CASL sponsor Harris Teeter, and a check presentation to the Kay Yow Cancer Fund.  Earlier this year CASL raised over $10,000 (in reality it was more than $14,000 if you add the proceeds from the silent auction we hosted on site plus the merchandise sales from Kay Yow Cancer Fund that would not have happened without this event) for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund through the Play 4Kay 4v4 Soccer Tournament, which the club proudly presented to Kay Yow representatives at the celebration in the form of a huge check.  The $10,000 raised adds to the $3.8 million raised by Play 4Kay since 2007 that helps fight women’s cancer by funding scientific research.


The event was a hit, and after all the hard work put in by the CASL staff and volunteers to get it organized, it was great to see everyone out there enjoying themselves.  Thanks to all those who came out to celebrate CASL’s 40th, we hope you had a good time.  CASL has had an incredible 40 years of providing youth soccer to the area, and we can’t wait to see what the next 40 years has in store for CASL!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Happy Birthday to CASL!

Join us on Saturday, March 15 from 10:00-2:00pm at WRAL Soccer Center to celebrate CASL's Birthday!


Timeline: 
  • 10:00am: party starts - bounce house, sponsors, and vendors will be on site; free giveaways from CASL and vendors will also start. We'll be giving away CASL pencils and also you can stop by our table for a chance to take home a mini NCAA soccer ball, NCAA t-shirts, CASL 40th Anniversary t-shirts sponsored by Pet Mania, or a drawstring bag
  • 11:00am: Cake Cutting #1 - cleats will be cutting the first cake; come enjoy FREE cake
  • 11:30am: The Pit BBQ will be ready to eat!
  • 12:30pm: Remarks and Check Presentation to Kay Yow Cancer Fund
  • 12:45pm: Cake Cutting #2 with Cleats and his friends
  • 2:00pm: Party wraps up
The Pit BBQ will be selling fresh BBQ sandwiches and plates
beginning around 11:30am!

The Pit Authentic Barbecue will be cooking hogs Friday night at the complex ready to serve BBQ sandwiches and plates. A portion of your purchase will come back to support CASL. Also, CASL sponsor Harris Teeter generously donated 5 sheet cakes to the birthday party. We'll have chocolate, vanilla, and marble cake to give away during the event. We hope you can join us as we celebrate our history, embrace the present, and prepare for the future of CASL!

Here's some history with more to come throughout the year: 

Nearly 40 years ago, the "Raleigh Soccer League" was born out of the minds of six soccer passionate individuals in Wake County: William J. Plunket, Jr., N.P. Zarzar, Eugene J. Eisen, Pat B. Hamilton (a la Hamilton Sportsmanship Award), Jerry T. Salmon, and R. Fred Littrell. In 1979, our name officially changed to "Capital Area Soccer League." Whatever name we were operating under, Capital Area Soccer League has grown from its humble beginnings to a national powerhouse soccer club. The individuals who came before us as parents, coaches, city officials, players, and key decision makers in our area who brought the game to youth in Wake County all played a critical role in laying the foundation for a youth soccer club that had the potential to grow into what it is today. CASL now houses more than 8,000 youth participants across all divisions of play and remains one of the few full-service soccer clubs around.

I recently found an old "Minutes" book from Board meetings in 1978 (just before the name switched to Capital Area Soccer League). The Raleigh Soccer League was clearly created out of a need for youth soccer in the area. In January of 1978, the report indicated four divisions of play with 110 teams and 1753 players! We've come a long way in our operations, and it's exciting to think about the next 40 years as we reflect on the past 40 years. We will find ways to for you to share you stories with us, but in the mean time, you can always tweet (@CASLnc; #CASL40) your images and stories. Check out these pictures from excerpts of the old minutes book. 

scheduling system in 1978

Budget in 1978




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

CASL teams making a statement in 3v3 soccer world

We are always happy to share achievements of our teams as they compete in games and tournaments across the country. Sometimes, groups of players from teams form their own mini-teams to compete in extra tournaments outside of the traditional tournaments. 

CASL has had many successful teams emerge in the 3v3 world. For example the WolfPack Girls, who I have to mention was the first team to sign up for CASL's Play 4Kay 4v4 in January, have a successful track record within the 3v3 competition. They swept their bracket in the Play 4Kay 4v4 and used it as preparation for the Disney 3v3 Soccer Championships the following week. They've had success in CASL's RailHawk 3s as well, which will be back around this summer so start thinking about your team.

Another team with success at the CASL RailHawk 3's is the CASL RailHawks 3v3 team comprised of members from the U11 Elite Black North team. The self-named CASL RailHawks qualified for the Disney 3v3 Nationals through CASL's RailHawk 3's last summer. They ended up playing the top U11 division (Invitational Gold) at the National 3v3 Championships. I learned that you qualify for the gold division by being a top 4 team at the qualifying tournament. The CASL RailHawks ended up finishing 2nd in the tournament, losing in the national championship game. 

CASL RailHawks (pictured from left): Coach Hassan Pinto, Malik Pinto, Chris Martin, Trace Alphin, Jake Smith, Lucas Pleasants, and of course, Mickey Mouse as an honorary member


CASL RailHawks: Disney 3v3 National Finalists
We look forward to more successes on and off the field for our CASL players this spring!