Caleb Norkus

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Caleb Norkus
CalebNorkus.jpg
Personal information
Full name Joshua Caleb Norkus
Date of birth (1979-03-14) March 14, 1979 (age 35)
Place of birth Raleigh, North Carolina, United States
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Defender / Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Puerto Rico Islanders
Number 29
Youth career
1997–2000 North Carolina Tar Heels
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000 Boulder Nova
2001–2002 Charlotte Eagles 49 (6)
2003 Sportfreunde Siegen
2004 Richmond Kickers 9 (0)
2004 Charleston Battery 4 (0)
2004–2005 Unión Española 16 (1)
2005–2006 Puerto Rico Islanders 22 (6)
2007–2010 Carolina RailHawks 57 (3)
2010 Charleston Battery (loan) 1 (0)
2012– Puerto Rico Islanders 3 (0)
National team
1995 United States U17 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of September 30, 2012.
† Appearances (Goals).

Joshua Caleb Norkus (born March 14, 1979 in Raleigh, North Carolina) is an American soccer player who currently plays for Puerto Rico Islanders in the North American Soccer League. He played professionally in Germany, Chile, Puerto Rico and the United States. He was a member of the United States U-17 men's national soccer team at the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Championship held in Quito, Ecuador, as well as the United States U-18 men's national soccer team and the United States U-20 men's national soccer team.

Career[edit]

College and Amateur[edit]

Caleb, who was nicknamed PlayStation by the Puerto Rico Islanders supporters for his tireless work rate, grew up playing youth soccer for the Capital Area Soccer League and was North Carolina High School player of the year in 1996 when he helped lead Sanderson High School to the North Carolina State title. During this time, he was also a member of the U17 and U18 United States men's national soccer team where he played alongside Tim Howard, Steve Cherundolo, Carlos Bocanegra and Chris Albright.

Norkus played for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill from 1997-2000. In 2000, in the most exciting 13 seconds of college soccer, a play that involved a 50 yard pass, three headers and a volley, Caleb scored the golden goal to bring the Tar Heels the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title. Later in 2000, he played for the Boulder Nova of the Premier Development League.

Professional[edit]

Norkus was drafted by DC United in the fifth round of 2001 MLS SuperDraft. Although he trained with the team, Caleb did not catch on with the MLS side and later signed with Charlotte Eagles of the then United Soccer Leagues A-League.

After two seasons with the Eagles, Norkus moved to Sportfreunde Siegen of the German Regionalliga-Süd (German 3rd Division). In 2004, Caleb returned to the United States with the Richmond Kickers of USL First Division (at the time) but transferred midseason to Charleston Battery of the same league. At the end of that season, Norkus took an opportunity to play in the Primera División of the Liga Chilena de Fútbol with Unión Española and helped the team to the Apertura title.

At the conclusion of the Chilean 2005 Apertura, Norkus moved to Puerto Rico Islanders of USL-1 for the remainder of the USL 2005 season. In 2006, Norkus season got off to a brilliant start as he scored 4 goals in the Islanders' first 10 games before being sidelined with a sports hernia injury. After off-season surgery in Argentina, Norkus returned to the States to sign with the expansion Carolina RailHawks of USL-1.

Throughout Norkus' career, he has continually struggled with a series of unfortunate injuries which have limited his playing time and tenure at many of the clubs he has played for professionally. However in his 2007 season after having surgery to correct a groin injury his fitness was not an issue. He played for the RailHawks through the 2010 season, going on loan to the Charleston Battery for one game at the end of the season. The following season, he accepted a role as player-coach for the Carolina RailHawks.

Norkus' coaching career began during his early years at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he began leading sessions at both the men's and women's summer camps. Throughout his playing career, Norkus coached youth soccer in multiple settings, including Charlotte Christian Academy's men's varsity program in 2002 and the Capital Area Soccer League, beginning in 2006. In 2009, Norkus obtained his US Soccer Federation (USSF) National B coaching license. After ending the 2010 season as a full-time player, Norkus became Community Outreach Liaison and Youth Soccer Ambassador for the Carolina RailHawks and the Capital Area Soccer League. He continued in this role until he relocated to Puerto Rico, joining the Puerto Rico Islanders as a player-coach for the remainder of their final season in 2012. He also held the title of Community Outreach & Fan Development Manager for the team during this period.

Controversy[edit]

Puerto Rico Islanders President Andy Guillemard-Noble accused the RailHawks of piracy[1] in the signing of Norkus, who was out of contract with the Islanders after the 2006 season. While the club executive insists that the Islanders had a verbal agreement with Norkus to return to Puerto Rico for the 2007 season, the player refutes that accusation,[2] saying the two sides never reached terms and cites the lack of an offered written contract as evidence of their lack of agreement.

International[edit]

Norkus made two appearances for the United States at the 1995 FIFA U-17 World Championship's in Ecuador.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Pirates of the Caribbean?". Retrieved 2006-12-19. 
  2. ^ "Norkus Refutes Islanders' Piracy Claims". Retrieved 2006-12-19. 

External links[edit]