Keeping our Soccer Roots: From CV Soccer Club to California Athletic Soccer Club

CASC 2006 Girls’ Team

Remember the good ole days of summer when kids got to get out of the house and just play? They could grab a group of friends, ride their bikes down to the local park and play hopscotch or jump rope, swung on the swings, played football or just shot hoops for hours. All was good until it was time for dinner!

Sometimes those days of summer seem like an era long ago and everything now seems over-supervised, over-structured and over-coached.

La Crescenta’s local soccer club, California Athletic Soccer Club (CASC), wants to change this. To celebrate its two-year anniversary, CASC is unveiling its Friday Night Lights “street soccer” program at Crescenta Valley High School. The youth pickup soccer games will be no cost and open to any player between the ages of 8 and 17. The only real requirement is that the girls and boys get to play with no coaching and no parental interference.

Parents still need to sign a disclaimer and make sure their kids get safely to and from the high school field but once there CASC is partnering with CV High School to create a safe environment for kids to play soccer and just have fun.

Learn more about Friday Night Lights soccer at

For those who don’t know, CASC has been the local club in our Crescenta Valley for over 20 years. Most people, however, remember the club as Crescenta Valley Soccer Club (CVSC), which local soccer legend Reggie Rivas founded in 2001. The dream to expand the local club to the greater Los Angeles area, including the rebrand to California Athletic Soccer Club, was knocked on its heels by two years of strict COVID protocols limiting practices and games. Whereas many neighboring youth clubs went under or were gobbled up by the larger clubs, CASC doubled down to keep soccer running in the local area.

CASC has returned to its roots as a non-profit community-based program known for high-quality, competitive youth soccer and loyalty to local families. Under club director Kurtis Millan, a passionate and committed coaching staff, and local board of directors, CASC has refocused its efforts to appeal to the young athletes and families in the Crescenta Valley and Glendale, and it has also attracted families from many of the surrounding towns, which has also led to new teams in the area of North Hollywood/Van Nuys.  

“Our focus today, as always, is to create a strong, competitive and safe environment for our players and their families,” said Millan. “All our programs at CASC brand reflect our three core values – integrity, accountability, pride. Our goal is to help young athletes to reach their fullest potential, both on and off the field.

“The unpredictability of the last two years caused chaos for almost all youth sports programs. Whereas many local programs cut corners in regard to the safe return to play, CASC followed strict protocols and we safely returned to practice and games, all under the good graces of the City of Glendale and our soccer families.”

In the last few months, CASC has had a surge of players joining the club and for good reason.

According to Millan, “COVID has made families take a serious look at the expense and time commitment of youth sports. At CASC, we believe in a ‘try us out’ model. Instead of the typical stress and pressure of ‘try-outs’ followed by an immediate demand for a huge payment, CASC offers the opportunity for players and families to take a few weeks to take part in our practice sessions with our coaches and ‘try us out’ to see if our club is a good fit for their child.”

Chris Ryder is a 20-year resident of La Crescenta and soccer coach at the club since 2013. He said he is excited about the future of CASC.

“With the addition of former pro players, such as LA Galaxy star Sean Franklin, Armenian national team player Sydney Vermillion, and Chilean international Ryann Torrero, mixed with an experienced and committed ­­coaching staff, we offer a unique soccer journey that has resources for any young kid interested in soccer, from the novice AYSO player to the serious player looking to play at a higher level,” Ryder said, adding, “My dream is that instead of players saying their favorite team is Barcelona, Bayern, or Liverpool, they instead point to the crest on their jersey and say their favorite team is CASC.”

CASC is growing and is looking for players for their girls’ and boys’ teams. The season runs from March to February with the main season scheduled in the fall, and tournaments and a spring season depending on the commitment worked out by parents and the coach. Anyone interested in learning more about the club can visit Inquire about any teams but there are current openings in the following age groups: boys born in 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2008 and girls born in 2011, 2009, 2008 and 2006.  

CASC tries to keep their club fees affordable for any players who want to play. To help with costs, CASC offers local businesses the opportunity to be a community sponsor of the club. For details and information about California Athletic Soccer Club, visit its website

Submitted by CASC