Winston-Salem, NC – The Cardinals Futbol Club (FC Cardinals) of Winston Salem, NC was founded in 2013 by Andy Salandy and Mohamed (Moh) Elbahrawi with the vision of developing the best soccer players in North Carolina. NameRights.com was able to reach Moh to get the 4-1-1 about the team, its history and its future.
What was the inspiration for your team name?
The Cardinal is the official bird of the great state of North Carolina. It is really a majestic bird. The Cardinal is bright red, the males have black in their neck and chest area. Our team colors are the same. Although these birds are usually singing and look nice, they can be aggressive. They tend to defend their territories and the males will chase away competitors.
Why did you choose to be the flagship team for the Triad area?
We were looking for a platform for our players to continue developing beyond youth soccer to compete in a high level nationally recognizable competition and the UPSL provides this for us. One problem was that there were no teams on the East Coast, so our President Mr. Andy Salandy took it upon himself to bring the league to the Southeast. A year later, we have close to 20 teams in a region that expands from Virginia in the North to Georgia in the South.
Being a former professional player yourself, what piece of advice would you give to someone looking to get started in the game?
There is no limit to development, you can always get better. You have to be consistent in your approach, always pushing your limit and striving to be better than the next guy.
What has been the biggest accomplishment for your team?
We made it to the regional playoffs last season despite our limited resources and the fact that our team is relatively young.
What does your team do to get ready for a big game?
Our approach is always the same, we take every game seriously and want to be competitive and win every game. We typically go through our normal routine and may just change the approach based on our tactics and our next opponents tactics.
Tell us an interesting fact about your team (e.g., your company mascot or pet, a fun gathering your team held, the way your team gets pumped up before a game, etc.).
We are one of the youngest teams in the whole UPSL, our average player’s age is just 18. We have a couple of 16 years olds that made their debut last fall. We also have an international feel to the team because we have players from Latin America, North America, Europe and the Caribbean.
In what ways you do you partner with local sponsors and why is their support important to you?
There are several ways that we partner with local sponsors. Our goal is to help increase the awareness of their products and services through field signage, social media promotions, and website advertising. We feature our sponsor names or logos on our uniforms and accept support in the form of goods and/or services that fill a certain need. Partnering with local sponsors enables us to offer the best possible environment for our players. It also builds goodwill for our sponsors, as companies who support local sports teams make a positive contribution to the community. Many of them are also able to write off their sponsorship/marketing as a business expense.