Team Cascadia are set to play their first ever home game against Darfur United in Kent, WA on July 27th, 2019.
So far all of Team Cascadia matches have taken place in London. After playing the 10 match whirl wind in the ConIFA World Cup in 2018, their next challenge will be on May 25 against the Chagos Islands in Whyteleaf, South London.
Cascadian Association Football Federation (CAFF) organizers have long been aware of the logistical difficulties to playing at home, notably the shortage of ConIFA opponents within North America.
Now it has organised its first ever home game.
The match will take place at the Frenchfield Stadium in Kent, WA on July 27 and the opponent will be Darfur, a region in western Sudan with a population of just over 9 million. The venue has a capacity of 6000.
Aaron Johnsen, President of CAFF reacted with joy:
“We are very excited to finally be playing a match on home soil. After the WFC and planned game against Chagos, the time has come to give the home fans something. Darfur will be a great opponent, with a great story.
“We couldn’t be happier to be playing them.”
Darfur United was formed in March 2012 with representatives from twelve Darfuri refugee camps located in Chad, invited to try out for the Darfur United team. 16 players were initially selected with four players also offered roster spots in the case of the need to replace any players. The team participated in the 2012 Viva World Cup, which was hosted by Kurdistan Iraq in June.
The operational aspects of this football team have been overseen and orchestrated by i-ACT, a humanitarian group located in Los Angeles, California, and directed by Gabriel Stauring and his team of volunteers. The team's head coach is Mark Hodson of EVO Soccer Programs and Manhattan Beach Sand and Surf Soccer Club. Hodson is an NSCAA Premier License holder and has been a professional coach since 1999.
Ben Holden of Bradford, UK, became the team's assistant coach in May 2012 to help manage the team at the 2012 Viva World Cup in Iraq/Kurdistan. The 27-year-old worked as a coach in Los Angeles in 2006 for a year; head coach Mark Hodson (whom he met whilst coaching in the US) called him and asked him how he felt about assisting him coaching Darfur United in June's Viva World Cup 2012.
The 16 players who made up Darfur United’s squad were all former Sudanese refugees who, having escaped the war-torn area, got the chance to represent Darfur abroad in a global competition. Darfur have competed in the 2012 VIVA World Cup and the 2014 version of the ConIFA World Football Cup where they won the Fair Play award. A documentary called Not Just Football was made about the team.
New Crest & New Kit Revealed
Cascadia have agreed a landmark kit deal with international manufacturers Givova. Prost is proud to announce it support for Team Cascadia by becoming the kit sponsor.
Givova are a big player on the world stage being the manufacturer for two international teams, Venezuela and Malta. Among their club teams are Verona, Fortuna Sittard and Beitar Jerusalem. Overall Givvoa supply kits to clubs in 42 countries.
Cascadia head coach James Nichols said:
“I think it’s another step forward in the future of the Cascadian Soccer team. To have Givova, a world renowned brand, producing the kit, who are involved with some of the biggest clubs in the world is a major coup.
“I’m absolutely sure the players in the squad for May against the Chagos Islands are looking forward to be the first players to wear the new apparel.”
The new crest showcases the topography of Cascadia with trees, mountains and sea all represented. The Cascadian flag’s Doug Tree is foremost on the crest design. The provisional jersey design, created by Josh Duder contains the blue, white and green of the Cascadia flag, with the flag itself and the ConIFA crest on each arm.
“Originally there was a social media ask from the Cascadia twitter handle for anybody interested in helping design some new shirts for the Cascadia team–I put my hand up right away. After submitting my first idea, I asked if they might be interested in a new badge as well. It was a go!
“The new badge was designed to provide an update the original CAFF crest, but not come across as an entirely new idea. A lot of the same elements are present. The whole idea of the kits was to stay within the boundaries of what had come before–emulating the flag of the region and connecting with design elements that are recognizable to those who live here. The long term desire is to add to an iconic design which will be inexorably connected to the organization and set up a sense of design tradition.”