As Art Brown’s time as CAYSA president comes to an end, CAYSA membership would do well to reflect on the changes that CAYSA has undergone, the challenges facing the organization, and how it can assure itself of continuing relevance in the soccer community. Art has shepherded CAYSA through a time of change. Now CAYSA must act on that change.
Twenty years ago, CAYSA was a dominant force in Western District and STYSA soccer. All Centex clubs registered all their players through CAYSA and represented the organization throughout the state and often into regional play. CAYSA tournaments were well attended, annual events sometimes drawing teams from Mexico. Every winter, the CAYSA convention offered clinics, workshops and help in the nuts and bolts of running a soccer organization. Everyone from the U6 crowd to the D1 only clubs with *gasp* paid coaching directors were united under the CAYSA banner. As the organization neared 20,000 players, land was acquired, fields were built and all seemed rosy for CAYSA’s future.
The consolidation of select clubs in the Austin area has had both positive and negative effects. One of the oft mentioned negatives is the loss of old rivalries. The days of the Capitals/Flyers rivalry or Thunder/Eagles are long gone. In its place, intra-club match ups are often the most competitive matches of the season, and smaller clubs spend their time shooting at the “big kid” on the block. More than the loss of rivalries, though, is the loss of history. How many players and parents today know who the Capitals were, or that the ’70 Capitals boys team was the first Central Texas team to advance to the USYSA national championships? Who has played a match at Longhorn Soccer Park, or can tell us who Laszlo was and why he used to yell “Bluebonnet” as a match came to a close? Who remembers watching Milan Dovedan play with the Soccadillos and then coach for the Flyers? Who remembers hanging out at the Cantina at Retama while waiting to play against the Generals? Who would have thought that when the River City Rangers became the new kid on the block in 1991, that 20 years later they would be far and away the longest surviving club in Austin? In 1991, the betting money was much more on the “All Star Soccer Club” which also started that year in the same area outlasting the Rangers. Who remembers who the ASSC Director of Coaching was?