–by Patrick Andres
PUBLICATION DATE: 02.21.17
Charley Kale, a Southview High School senior soccer player who will be playing collegiately at Akron next year, is headed east. And not just headed east to the Rubber City. Over the summer, she is headed east to the Old City.
Yes, Kale will play in Jerusalem this June and July in the 20th Maccabiah Games, a Jewish multi-sport event she describes as a “mini-Olympics.” She will play on a junior girls’ soccer team representing the United States in the festival of 10,000 athletes, which trails only the Olympics and Pan Am Games in participation. Notable American soccer players who have competed in the Maccabiah in the past include National Soccer Hall of Famer Jeff Agoos and 2007 Gold Cup champion Jonathan Bornstein.
Kale, a versatile, reliable contributor to the Cougars this year who was named Honorable Mention All-District, is admittedly apprehensive ahead of the excursion. “I’m really nervous about playing in such as a big thing,” she says.
Kale will be playing in the Junior Division, a division exclusively for female athletes born between 1999 and 2001. The schedule for the Games has yet to be released in detail.
“I always wanted to go to Israel,” Kale said, adding she is looking forward to visiting the Dead Sea, which surely beats the Cuyahoga River.
Success is first on Kale’s mind, as the United States men’s and women’s teams both won gold at the 2013 event in the Open division and she is hoping to add to that legacy of victory. “I’ll be going out there, giving 100 percent, and trying to win the gold medal,” she says, which the team should have a decent shot at barring unforeseen circumstances.
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