Aligning The Field

Packing Gear

At Street Soccer USA we often Align The Field before a season begins or before a a team travels to a big tournament such as our National Cups and the Homeless World Cup. I was recently in San Francisco with our SSUSA Family for a tournament and it’s always so refreshing to be meet new players and learn from other coaches. Street Soccer Chicago coach Otto taught me an exercise he did with his team where they went through the positions on the field and how they relate to people in your lives off the field. I challenge you to do the same and think about who your team is and why.

Defense: 

On The Field they are the last line of support. They are strong.

Off The Field they will always have your back no matter what. They believe in you. They are your backbone.

My mother, Marisa Olson, is the strongest support system a person could ever ask for. She has always been behind me no matter what I set my mind to. Taking a leap of faith to leave her, my sisters and a comfortable life in Little Rock, Arkansas was the hardest thing I have ever done. I can’t imagine how hard it must have been for her to let me go. Now she is putting fear aside and supporting me once again as I journey across the country sharing my passion for serving others, which she an my late father instilled in me as a kid.

Mid-Fielders:

On The Field they are the playmakers. They are the creativity as they create space and opportunities for the team to attack and score.

Off The Field they offer their time, money and creativity. They are the ones who are willing to listen to your dreams and  help you achieve them.

My friends, family and sponsors have proven to be mid-fields this week as I knew they would. So many people have donated their money, gear and advice to me leading up to the ride. Special thanks to Outlier, BioLite Stove , Catlike Helmets, Sol Republic, Team Fund Up, Collaborate Ideas and Images, Lauren Anders Brown and Rob Coleman, Alex Bearman, Ben and Cristina Astin, Tyler Davidson, Ashlee Smith, Libby Feller Boek, Vince and Judy Gaul, Laura Enoch, Caroline Carew, Andy Clymer, Ericka Basile, Anna and Crystal Olson and Jeremy Carlisle.

Forwards:

On The Field you look up to them as they make runs ahead of you. They are the inspiration to the team as they score goals.

Off The Field they are leaders. They are role models. They are charismatic. They never give up.

Lawrence and Rob Cann, founders of Street Soccer USA, are my forwards. Without them I would not have realized my life’s calling to help others through the sport I love.

MVP’s: 

These are the people who embody all of the three positions in one.

Shane Shackelford and David Herscovici are my guys who have been and will be my MVP’s throught this journey as we ride day in and day out across the country. They have supported me in this idea by joining the cruisade with all their heart. They put themselves on the line to ask for help on our behalf. They have not let doubt creep into my mind and kept me pushing towards the
finish line.

I can’t THANK YOU all enough and I look forward to sharing this experience with you all! Your ongoing love and support will be what makes this possible.

Caleb

 

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The Adventure Begins Sept 2nd

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Can’t believe September is almost here! It’s been an incredible summer full of:

So it’s going to be tough to leave this wonderful city behind for two whole months! I truly believe that it is the greatest city there ever was and that the work I get to do on a daily basis is my life calling. I am excited to share this passion for Street Soccer USA with others and be inspired by all the beauty the rest of the country has to offer. Here’s how you can help:

  1. Check out our Path and email BikeCruisade@gmail.com if you know someone we should connect with.
  2. Like us on Facebook and Join This Event to receive SOS messages for food, shelter and moral support.
  3. Follow us on Instagram for scenic photos, special playlists curated by the music industry’s finest and subtle product placement.
  4. Donate to our Food and Flat Tire Fund and we will share a meal with someone in need when we can.
  5. Donate to Street Soccer USA and we will continue to use soccer to end homelessness by transferring job and life skills to homeless youth and adults during weekly practices, games and off the field support.

We ride out from Times Square at the same exact location that our Street Soccer USA Cup was held between 42 and 43 on Broadway at 8:00am Tuesday, September 2nd. Come say bye! 

Meet Cruisader Don

IMG_0093I met Don in Arkansas several years ago when we both were working for an advertising agency in Little Rock. He was always super talented at his job and pushed himself to do more. After years of working together, it was inspiring to me to see him land a new job doing what he loved for a non-profit that he was passionate about. I know he is so excited to join us in support of Street Soccer USA for a week in Arkansas and I can’t wait to catch up with him too. It’s been probably 5 years since I’ve seen this bearded wild man.

Cruisader Don
Age: 29
Location: Springfield, MO
Daily Grind: Web Designer for a non-profit animal rights organization
Fun Fact: He does stand-up comedy at open mic night.
Why He Rides:
He started riding a few years ago with a friend Joe. They  just wanted to ride everywhere they could and got hooked. Don says he’s not very fast, or very strong, but always tries push himself to go faster and to go further. He believes that if we find ourselves in any sort of “good fortune” it’s somewhat of a duty to help all beings around us. Soccer’s the only other sport he’s ever felt any inclination to be involved with so this is a perfect match!
Click here to see how you can Join The Cruisade!

Meet Cruisader Shane

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Meet Shane Shack! This guy is one of a kind and just as crazy, if not more, than me. Shane volunteered one day about a month ago with Street Soccer USA‘s youth program in East NY, Brooklyn. On our train ride home the Bike Cruisade came up for the first time. He immediately told me he was on board and that he can’t hear amazing opportunities like that and pass them up.

He has been dedicated in his training by riding his fixed gear bike almost 30 miles a day. He is already getting his friends and family excited about his journey. This Monday we met up at Randall’s Island with three of his very talented friends to film a short, black & white silent film styled promo video for the Bike Cruisade. Visit the Facebook page here for a full album and stay tuned for the video, we are editing it now!

Age:  32.

Daily Grind: Bartender

Location: Queens NY, but originally from Nashville, TN.

Why He Rides: To discover the world on two wheels while connecting mind and body, in turn making for one happy spirit.

Cruisading: The entire trip NYC to SF!

Fun Fact:  He just changed his first flat tire, with a little help from yours truly. I am so glad we got one of these under our belt before heading across America.

If you see Cruisader Shane on the road, say hi, or give him the ole biker’s nod.  He’ll be the one smiling!

You too can Join The Cruisade by riding, donating some gear, money, advice, shelter or just by spreading the word on the internets!

The Road is Tough

1609787_10100697885079610_6029284398863984514_nThe Road is different for everyone and Tough comes in all shapes and sizes. For many of our Street Soccer USA players the road is the path out of the homeless shelter system. I’ve never been homeless but from what I see and hear from some of our players this journey can seem impossible at times and as if they are in it all alone. At our practices we try to create a fun and safe space for players to meet new people and form bonds on the field with teammates, coaches and volunteers that transfer off the field. We set goals and encourage each other to achieve our wildest dreams!

Recently a group of friends and I went to the Poconos Raceway with the common goal to complete a Tough Mudder; 12 mile race with 22 obstacles. We planned and trained leading up to the race but nothing could prepare us for the freezing mud that we would be running, crawling, climbing and swimming through for 3 hours straight. We pushed our bodies to the limits and encouraged each other along the way. There were certain obstacles that would have been impossible without members of a team ahead of us helping us complete the course. The photo above is of me and another Street Soccer USA coach giving each other a high five after jumping off a 15 ft plank into a 12 ft deep ditch of muddy water. I have thrown a lot of high fives in my day but this was truly one of the greatest feelings of accomplishment as we neared the end of the race. It is a great metaphor for the seemingly impossible obstacles we are faced with in our daily lives and how through preparation, teamwork and dedication we can achieve anything we set our minds to.

This Bike Cruisade is not only a way to raise awareness about what we do at Street Soccer USA but it is yet another way to prove that if we set our goals high we can achieve them no matter how impossible it may seem. The physical part of the journey will no doubt be difficult as we ride 60-100 miles each day, but I think the really difficult part is the mental game. There will be days where we want to quit because we are tired, we are lost, we are hurt, we are alone, we are hungry, but we won’t! We know there are people cheering us on and expecting to see us ride through their city.

While we are on the subject of support and teamwork, we still need a lot of support financing this trip and the gear needed to accomplish our goal. Email BikeCruisade@gmail.com or if you have any connections with potential gear sponsors or visit the Join The Cruisade tab to make a donation . 

Check out The Path to see if we will be coming through your neck of the woods. We’d love to meet you!