A major disappointment in her stellar soccer career turned out to be a blessing as Paschall got her priorities in order and now follows her life’s work with renewed passion It was a very merry Christmas for Brentwood native and soccer phenom Karlie Paschall. Fresh from a trip to Europe with the U.S. Women’s National U18 team in October, Karlie is still on cloud nine after recording her first assist in national team play during the team’s 3-1 win over France in the Women’s International Cup in Northern Ireland. The precocious teenager is still hyped about her performance in that…

Birmingham native Allison Whitworth spreads her wings, soars to soccer success, and returns to the nest It was a little more than one year ago when tiny Spring Hill College, a Catholic college in Mobile with fewer than 1,500 students, announced its new women’s soccer coach: Birmingham native Allison Whitworth. The Auburn graduate arrived in Mobile after spending three seasons as the lead assistant/goalkeeper coach and recruiting coordinator with the Ohio University Bobcats, a NCAA Division I college in the Mid-American Conference with a student population north of 30,000. Before getting into coaching, Whitworth was a trailblazer of sorts as…

After disastrous play and embarrassing off-field distractions, the US Women rebound against the Netherlands during a rainy night in Georgia While a couple of weeks in the sunny climes of Rio would do most people a world of good, the Cidade Maravilhosa wasn’t so kind to the United States Women’s National Soccer Team. The odds-on favorite to leave Brazil with shiny new medals around their necks, the team’s 4-3 loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals meant the US women would endure their worst Olympics to date, failing to qualify for the gold medal round for the first time. It wasn’t…

Don’t look now, but a different kind of futbol is gaining popularity in the South. Here’s how big-time soccer is growing below the Mason-Dixon line. After decades of trying to prove to the American soccer powers-that-be that our time has arrived, it appears they have finally gotten the message. Big-time futbol is once and for all coming to the Southeast. This spring the newest Major League Soccer (MLS) franchise, Atlanta United FC, debuts, and soccer fans in the Music City are excited about Nashville FC, the newest club in the up-and-coming United Soccer League (USL), launching in 2018. And after…

The Alabama native and former Vestavia standout has always dreamed of playing in Europe. Now that he has that opportunity, he can’t wait for his chance to give it his all. Even if it does mean learning a new language. It’s Tuesday, October 4 and 19-year-old Stephen Payne is less than a week away from flying halfway across the world to start a new life. The former BUSA, Vestavia, and UCLA standout is busy signing paperwork, packing his bags, saying goodbye to family and friends, and brushing up on his Portuguese. Come Monday morning, the Birmingham native will officially be…

Two days at the State Cup prove that Alabama is gaining ground in the Southeast when it comes to exceptional soccer and increasingly skillful players. It’s mid-morning on Saturday, November 12, and games are well under way at the Alabama Soccer Association State Cup in Foley, Alabama. The action is taking place for the first time at the Foley Sports Tourism Complex, a state-of-the-art, 16-field facility just a stone’s throw from the beaches of Alabama’s Gulf Coast. It’s an unseasonably warm, sunny day with high temperatures in the low 80s. In other words, it’s perfect soccer weather (a fact this…

Long-Awaited Semi-Pro Soccer Club Launches In The ‘Ham One need only take a drive around Birmingham to understand the city is smack in the middle of a serious renewal. Everything from funky new restaurants, public parks, bike paths, and baseball stadiums are springing up like dandelions in the front yard. Fortunately for Birmingham, a group of young, energetic, civic-minded, and possibly insane, soccer fans has put their passion to work bringing a high-level soccer team to the Magic City — the Birmingham Hammers. As the newest members of the National Premiere Soccer League (NPSL), a semi-pro league with more than…

Alabama native Chandler Hoffman has been turning heads and opening eyes since he was in grade school. Now he’s putting Alabama on the soccer map one goal at a time. Alabama’s soccer community has heard for decades how far behind the rest of the country we are in developing soccer talent. Of course, there is some truth to that. After all, when 100,000 people will show up for a glorified college football scrimmage each spring, it can be hard for the other kind of football to break through. There has been progress, though. One only needs to look at the…