Club soccer: competitive but still fun

Portland State University’s recreational program director Alex Accetta wanted to develop a soccer team that went above and beyond the intramural style of play.

So he and two other soccer enthusiasts – Brent Ellison from Lane College and soccer coordinator Mikael Rotsaert – worked on developing a league that would do just that. The result: The Cascade Collegiate Soccer League was born.

“Intramurals are more about fun and community, whereas the intent for the club is to be competitive and structured, but still fun,” Accetta explained.

Currently, the league is open only to men. Because PSU lacks a men’s varsity soccer team, the program is intended fill that void, giving male soccer players an opportunity to hone their skills.

Many elements needed to come together in order for the league to get off the ground. Plans for game locations, tournament schedules, coordination with other schools and referee service were all factors taken into consideration. It was decided that the league games would follow the established rules of the National Intramural and Recreational Association, a group that regulates similar programs across the country.

Unlike the first come, first serve aspect of intramural play, the club soccer team held tryouts the first Sunday of the school year. Forty people showed up, but only 18 were selected.

John Clasing, who is also an intramural soccer coordinator, was asked to coach the team this season. He is a busy computer science major at PSU but was happy to accept the invitation.

“I am such a passionate soccer fan that I couldn’t refuse,” he said. “When something is fun, it tends to take up more of my time than it should.”

Clasing isn’t kidding about his devotion to the game. He is a native of Sweden – where soccer is taken very seriously – and has been playing on organized teams since he was six-years-old.

Portland State is joined in the Cascade Collegiate Soccer League by Oregon State University, Lewis and Clark College, Western Oregon University, Lane Community College and the University of Oregon. Each team must pay a $500 fee to join the league. This money goes toward paying for uniforms, traveling and taking care of other team expenses.

The Vikings have played two games this season. They got off to a good start with a 3-0 win against Western Oregon in their season opener. This past Sunday, PSU lost to Lane at home, 3-0, but seemed to have gained a fan base. About 60 spectators came out to cheer the team on.

The PSU team plays again at 11:30 a.m. this Sunday at Lewis and Clark.