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9

Feb, 2019

Players Attend Wake Forest Banquet

For the second year in a row, families have donated seats for the Wake Forest Men's Soccer Banquet to the Soccer Foundation.  This year 11 players, Director Sari Rose and NC Fusion coach Edwin de la Cruz were able to attend.  This is an incredible experience for our players as they get to meet Wake Forest players and coaches.  When the players arrive they have a chance to take pictures with the Deacon, Wake Forest players and the various "hardware" that the team has won during the season.  
This year Stephen Keel, the MLS Social Media Manager,former Demon Deacon and retired MLS player, was the keynote speaker.  Stephen delivered an inspiring speech about the four things that embodied his Wake Forest career: Footy, Family, Hardwork and Fun. Stephen talked about the passion he and his teammates had for the game and how those players became his family during college and beyond.  We learned that Stephen was a walk-on (non-scholarship player) his first year at Wake, but earned a starting role and a scholarship by the time he graduated.  Although his MLS career spanned ten seasons, he revealed the humble start to it for our players.  Following graduation from Wake Forest he went back home to Colorado.  Each day he would drive out to the Rapids reserve training to play with the group.  When a player was released, he asked if he could take that spot on the reserve team.  His hardwork and dedication paid off and started his professional playing career. While with Colorado Keel appeared in 36 games with the Rapids reserves, leading the reserve team to back-to-back MLS Reserve Division championships in 2006 and 2007 and was named MLS Magazine's Reserve Player of the Year following the 2007 season. He went on to play for the Timbers, Red Bulls, and Dallas. His story led to a terrific discussion with players on the ride home about the importance of setting goals, working hard and enjoying the relationships you make through playing soccer.
Our players appreciate the generosity of the donors who made this special night happen and those that continue to support our efforts.  If you are interested in learning more about the Soccer Foundation or making a donation contact: [email protected]

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