ASA is participating in the Men’s CCL Pro23 League over the summer. The Pro23 League is offered by CCL as a way to give a competitive training and game environment to U16-U23* players during the summer. The goal is also for players who have recently graduated or are home for the summer to have the opportunity to stay involved with their clubs.
There are a handful of roster spots open to players over 23 years old.
Each week this summer we’ll be highlighting a different Pro23 player to share his background and soccer pathway. This week we’d like to introduce Rida Doulyazal, ASA coach, former Moroccan national team player and one of the oldest members of the team.
How did you get involved with ASA’s Pro23 CCL team?
I coach the 2006 boys blue in the ASA academy program and Coach Hanna and Coach Peja offered me a spot to play with PRO23 CCL team since they knew I am a former professional soccer player.
Tell us a little bit about your playing background — club? Highschool? Pickup in your backyard?
I grew up in Morocco and played with Wyadad Casablanca, the best team in Morocco. I played in the U21 World Cup in 2005 and I had the chance to play against some of the best players in world right now. Players such as Messi, Iniesta, Fàbregas, Firmino and more.
Was there an experience growing up that really stands out to you as a moment where you knew you wanted to continue your soccer career?
When I was 11 years old I won a championship trophy in one of the tournaments I played in and was named the best player of the tournament. My grandfather was very happy and cried and told me “I want to see you become one of the best number 10s in the world.” That inspired me to keep playing and working hard and to play in the highest level of soccer.
What do you hope to get out of your Pro23 CCL experience?
As one of the older members of the team I want to give guidance to the younger and new players with my previous experience as a professional, and help my team to play the ASA style of soccer.
Is there any advice you could give to your younger self (or a current high school player) about how to approach his or her soccer journey?
Love your team, respect your coach and teammates, work hard at practice and games, watch and learn from pro games on TV and eat healthy food.
And finally — what are one or two of your favorite qualities that you look for in a teammate?
Respect and support each other and work together as a team.
Thanks Rida! If you haven’t been out to watch Rida play (and light up the midfield!) don’t miss your last opportunity on June 29th, 7pm @ Witter. You will no be disappointed!