Published Jun 30, 2022
Written By:  Conor Forrest
             South Region Contributor

The Charlotte Eagles, over the last four years, have found loads of success in the WPSL, but has found even more success off the field. The Eagles are part of the Missionary Athletes International (MAI), an organization that aims to share the message of Jesus Christ with people worldwide through soccer.


On May 22, 2022, the Eagles traveled to California as part of their MAI mission trip. Led by assistant coach Tori Collar, 15 Eagles players journeyed to La Habra, Cali., where they worked alongside sister club Southern California Seahorses to help run camps hosted by the Seahorses. In addition, the Eagles helped create training videos for the camp coaches to use rather than a pamphlet.


 “You know, guys, when in LA, why not become an actor?” Collar said, “In the mornings, we did that with them and were examples in those videos, for the camp coaches, which is pretty cool. We also got to throw in a little bit of our own fun in there.”


Along with helping at the Seahorses camp, the Eagles volunteered at the Dream Center – a resource center that focuses on helping those impacted by homelessness, hunger, and addiction. There the Eagles volunteered in the food pantry and served others while learning from workers’ stories.


“The lady working with us started to share her story with my friend and me [and] explained that the Dream Center saved her life 10 years ago and she’s been helping there ever since.” Emma Schossler, Eagles defender, said, “Just being able to work alongside her and how thankful she was for the Dream Center, it was cool to see kind of a full circle moment. Someone who had been in need of the center and their resources, but now she's giving so much back to it.”


A highlight of the trip for the girls was their hike to the Hollywood sign where they were given two options for the trail they took. Both paths led to the Hollywood sign, but one was a much better view than the other, however, it was a more difficult journey. The Eagles took the more challenging path and were stunned by the view when they reached the end of the six-mile hike.


“We were all expecting to get to the top and looking straight at the Hollywood sign and be able to take pictures in front of it.” Schossler said,But we hiked to a part that was like higher than the Hollywood sign and like we were looking down on it. So that was pretty crazy because I didn't even know you could get up that high. It was just a different perspective, and the view was incredible.”


After a few days in California, the Eagles then traveled to Mexico for the second half of their mission trip. There they spent time working at an orphanage and even went support some of the boys from the orphanage at their futsal game. They were also able to play a game against a local women’s team in the area.


“I've never played a soccer game like internationally.” Anna Rexford, Eagles goalkeeper, said, “There were so many people just watching the game, and you could see the true love for soccer. Even though we didn't speak the same language, the way soccer united us all was incredible.”


While the Eagles have been one of the most dominant teams in the Carolinas Conference, they’re more than just a soccer team. They’re a group of people dedicated to helping others in their community and across the globe.