AYW Spotlight | Cally Togiai

RICHMOND, VA (February 14, 2018) – The ECNL and the Amazing Young Women movement are dedicated to sharing stories of females that have helped shape the league into the top youth soccer development platform in the world. As part of the movement, the ECNL is shining a light on the amazing young women that make the league what it is today with their efforts both on and off the field.

Cally Togiai is the ECNL Amazing Young Woman Spotlight of the Week. Togiai is a current member of the Crossfire United ECNL U15 team who has had an exceptional few weeks on the pitch. She tallied three hat tricks in just three games to begin this month of play, raising the bar for her team and conference rivals. Togiai played through a dislocated toe, and through her determination and willpower was able to impact the game on a big scale. Beyond the scope of the field and her soccer talent, she is a great teammate and sportsman who constantly pushes her own limits and everyone around her.

“Cally is a great person! She is always supporting her teammates on and off the pitch, and is the first person to lend a hand when an opponent goes down. Cally makes this team and our club better through her commitment and strong values.” said Kevin Legg, ECNL Director for Crossfire United.

We had a chance to catch up with Togiai before traveling to the ECNL Texas National Event.  Here is what we learned:

Q: How old were you when you started playing soccer?

A: I was 3 years old when I first started playing for my recreational team, Dynamite.

I remember wanting to play with my sister’s team, but I was too young and had to stay on the sidelines. I wore my first pair of gold Nike T-90 soccer cleats on the sideline of her games and watched until it was time for me to go to my soccer game.

Q: What is your favorite part about playing in the ECNL?

A: It’s really hard to name one thing because the ECNL has so much to offer. The competition is unlike any other, but at the top of my list are my teammates and coaches. They all mean the world to me, and always know how to make me smile. ECNL has provided so many opportunities for me to create and build relationships.

Q: What has been your favorite ECNL event? Why?

A: It would have to be in Phoenix, because it was my first ECNL event with my team. Phoenix was my first time getting the “full ECNL experience”. From seeing the college coaches on the sidelines, to rolling out in THE ZONE, it was a great experience. I also loved the free Gatorade, chews, and recovery bars! Thank you ECNL!

Q: Who is your soccer idol?

A: My male soccer idol is Tim Cahill because he was the first Samoan soccer player I saw play in the Premier League. He is living proof that soccer is for everyone, no matter your background. Then, there is my all-time female soccer idol Tobin Heath. I’ve always loved her story and her style of play. She’s so skilled, calm on the ball and always comes in clutch. Not to mention off the pitch she has amazing swag! As a big fan of hers, I thought it was a perfect coincidence that she plays here in Oregon for the Portland Thorns. I’ve met her many times in person and have gotten her autograph. Every time I see her she is cooler than the last time I saw her.

Q: What are some of your goals for this season? And your soccer career?

A: I want to do everything I can to help my team qualify for ECNL Playoffs, and individually I want to be the leading scorer in my conference. My future soccer goals are to win a high school state championship, play college soccer, and to one day represent the U.S. Women’s National team.

Q: Do you have any superstitions that you follow? If so, what are they?

A: This superstition started when I played on a U10 boys team, and it was to pull my socks over my knees as high as possible. I did this partly because I watched Marta do it when Brazil played USA in the World Cup, but I really believed at the time it made me feel tall or have long legs amongst those boys. Since then I still do it and it is something that I always have to do when changing into my kit.

Q: What 5 adjectives would you use to describe an Amazing Young Woman?

A: Courageous, Grateful, Disciplined, Trustworthy, Versatile

Q:  What is something that most people do not know about you?

A:  I was a kid model for Gap and Nordstrom in San Francisco. Also, a lot of people don’t know that my family is actually from San Francisco, California.  We moved to Oregon when I was 12 months old.

Q:  Do you have any siblings? If so, tell us about him/her/them.

A: I have one older sister, Corinne Togiai. We are five years apart, and she is my first best friend and my role model. We have an extremely tight bond, even with the distance between us. She is currently attending the University of Oregon Honors College.

Q:  If you could fly anywhere in the world, where would you go and why? 

A:  I would have to say Barcelona, Spain. I have always wanted to go there because of the delicious food and, of course, the best soccer team in the world. I want to watch FC Barcelona at Camp Nou.

Q: What is your favorite quote? What does it mean to you? 

A: My favorite quote is: “I play for the audience of one.” I am a firm believer in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, so this quote is very important to me. The quote means that I always play for God. Before every game, I write my favorite verse, Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Jesus Christ” on my hand. Whenever I’m playing I can always look at it and be reminded of who I am playing for, and who gave me the strength and ability to play soccer.

Q: What is your favorite subject in school and why?

A: Math, because it is satisfying to solve a hard problem. I love learning new ways to solve different types of problems as well. Math is similar to soccer when it comes to problem-solving, which makes me love both even more.

Q: Who is your favorite actor/actress?

A: Dwayne Johnson (AKA The Rock) and Zendaya.

Q: What is your favorite emoji?

A:  Plate with fork and knife, because I like to have a non-stop grind in order to “eat.” In other words, I use this emoji for when I am hungry to play in a game.  I like to use it for motivation or “hyping up” purposes.

Q: If you could have one superpower, what would you chose and why?

A: Teleportation or super speed. I would like to teleport to have more time to prepare for everything. I would also love to have super speed because I have always been a big fan of the speedster DC superhero, The Flash.

Q: If you could have any job in the world, what would you choose and why?

A: I would want to be a lawyer, because you get to problem solve, and you have the opportunity to help someone or a community in need.

Safe travels to Cally Togiai and her team as they head to #ECNLTX this weekend!  In addition, best of luck with the remainder of the ECNL season, as your journey through the soccer world continues. Thank you for sharing your story!


About Amazing Young WomenTM:  Launched by the ECNL, the Amazing Young Women is a dynamic platform of online and local market activations that showcase and celebrate female role models offering an aspirational focus for all female athletes and teens as they prepare to be our next generation of leaders.  The ECNL is calling on all of the nation’s women to join the movement to celebrate the endless potential of today’s girls.

The #GAMECHANGER campaign celebrates the desire, ambition and impact of the ECNL athlete. #GAMECHANGER defines the inner struggle that SHE has on a daily basis, and showcases the choice to become great. It reaches deep into HER core, exposing all that makes her amazing, resilient and driven.

Amazing Young Women of the ECNL will be showcased at AmazingYoungWomen.com. Through testimonials, tips and tools, the website is providing all girls to view, share, and celebrate what it is to be motivated, strong, and successful.

About Elite Clubs National League: The Elite Clubs National League (ECNL) was founded in 2009 to enhance the developmental experience of female youth soccer players in the United States through: (i) improving the competitive environment through creation of a true national competitive league; (ii) improving the process for identifying elite female soccer players through a systematic scouting and identification program based on national competitions; and (iii) improving the daily training environment at top female youth soccer clubs through developing best practices and training and organizational guidelines for its member clubs. The ECNL is sanctioned by US Club Soccer and is sponsored by Nike Soccer.

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