Cascadia official soccer team
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|Association||Cascadia Association Football Federation|
The Cascadia official soccer team is the official association football team representing the Cascadia region of the United States and Canada and is controlled by the Cascadia Association Football Federation (CAFF). The team will be composed of players from the U.S states of Oregon, Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia. The stated mission of the team is "...to allow Cascadia as distinct cultural entity, isolated bioregion and growing society with common interests to be represented at the international level in the sport we are all passionate about." CAFF is a member of ConIFA. Cascadia is not a member of FIFA or any confederation or subconfederation as the region is wholly a part of both the United States or Canada. However, CAFF is not opposed to those organizations and sees itself coexisting as a non-FIFA regional representative team.
In this way and similar to Catalonia's national team, Cascadia's players can participate in both FIFA and non-FIFA tournaments as non-FIFA "caps" have no bearing on being FIFA cap tied. It is hoped that the team will help expose more players from the region to international competition as well as foster a connection between the culture of Cascadia with other regions and peoples around the world. Cascadia hopes to participate in the 2018 ConIFA World Football Cup and is very interested in playing friendlies and tournaments in the years leading up to it.
The purpose of the team is cultural and sport focused, not political as there are many different ideas as to what Cascadia's common and increasingly interconnected economic and political future may become. Neither CAFF nor the team have any official stance on the Cascadia independence movement.
The idea of a Cascadia representative soccer team existed long before the founder of CAFF and friends first discussed the possibility. People on internet soccer discussion forums discussed the possibility as far back as 2011. In early 2012 an Adidas Cascadia football shirt was designed by Kelly Dews and sold through the Cascadia Trifecta Facebook group to supporters and fans of the three Cascadian MLS teams Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers.
The first run of these shirts were highly popular and were visible at matches throughout the region.
Following the 2012 London Olympic Games and noting the athletes from Cascadia, the current CAFF President Leonard Laymon and others began investigating just what it would take to form a non-FIFA regional representative team.
In August 2012 the decision was made to go forward with making such a team a reality and networking was done with the non-FIFA football community.
In January 2013 CAFF convened its first General Meeting at the headquarters of Golazo Energy in Seattle. At this meeting CAFF's board of directors was elected and its bylaws and team eligibility requirements ratified, by vote. It was also determined in a vote by the CAFF board following the meeting that Cascadia would send a representative to the N.F.-Board's Annual General in Munich Germany at the end of the next month. An Indiegogo campaign raised the funding for the application process in less than a week.
In February 2013 Sascha Tillmanns was elected as Cascadia's European representative and initially sent to the meeting to deliver CAFF's application documents, express Cascadia's interest in joining the N.F.-Board and help CAFF get an understanding of what its next steps should be. Tillmanns was asked at the meeting to give a presentation on Cascadia which was well received.
In early March 2013 Cascadia learned that the N.F.-Board would be deciding in the summer to admit up to three new members of which Cascadia was one. Following this positive news that the early work of looking for Cascadia eligible players and a coach began.
In late April 2013, Alan Koch of Simon Fraser University on Burnaby Mountain in Burnaby, BC was the first potential coach to step forward and declare interest in becoming Cascadia's first coach.
In June 2013 CascadiaNow! the website of the Cascadia Independence Project published a list of over 80 professional and semi-professional Cascadia-eligible players Worldwide
Later in July 2013 another potential Cascadia coach emerged when in a Q&A session on Twitter, former US men's national team defender and ESPN Analyst, Alexi Lalas proclaimed that "it would be an honor" to coach Cascadia.
On the 25th of August 2013, nearly a year to the day of the initial idea to move forward with making a Cascadia team a reality CAFF announced that non-FIFA football ambassador and former N.F.-Board Marketing Director and Executive Committee member Nicolas Bonnier would be visiting the region, touring Portland's Jeld-Wen Field and attending the 68,000 sold out Cascadia Cup Derby in Seattle as a guest of the CAFF board. During this time, the CAFF board and Alexi Lalas met for the first time to begin talks on his potential role as coach.
In early 2012 Kelly Dews designed an Adidas produced limit run of Cascadia shirts. The kit was white, green and blue with a green sash reflecting the colors of the Doug Flag. Buyers of it had the option to have either the Portland, Seattle or Vancouver municipal flags on it as well. People purchased them through internet forums and word of mouth. The demand for these shirts was high and when they sold out work began on a new version of the shirt. Members of all three Cascadia MLS club supporters groups voted on the design of the second shirt and it was much discussed on the Cascadia Trifecta Facebook group.
In August the new design was announced by Kelly Dews and the Cascadia Association Football Federation. It is a horizontal tri-color design similar to that of the flag of Cascadia. It features the CAFF crest on the front and Cascadia on the neckline in the back. The new shirt is made by a local company, Looptworks. Pre-Orders for the new shirt began with CAFF handling requests for shirts for people outside of Cascadia and the Cascadia Trifecta serving as the contact point for local orders. A portion of the sales goes to help fund CAFF.
- Canada men's national soccer team
- Non-FIFA international football
- United States men's national soccer team
- "Mission statement from the official site of the Cascadia Association football federation". cascadiafa.com. Archived from the original on 14 September 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
- Cascadia: the heartland of football in North America World Soccer Magazine
- Cascadia In Bed With Maradona
- Cascadia National Team Jersey... Yes Please Stumptown Footy
- Cascadia Football Announces First General Meeting Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. – Press Release
- Cascadia Announces Board of Directors, Meeting Results Archived March 3, 2016, at the Wayback Machine. Press Release