Caleb Powell, A UNC-Wilmington forward, is returning to the Sarasota Paradise after playing during the teams inaugural season. He is ready for a fast paced season, with a goal of reaching the 2024 playoffs.
Caleb reflects on Inaugural Season
“The most memorable part of the 2023 season for me was the home opener. It was the first time I really got to interact with the Paradise fans and it was nothing short of special. We had a rollercoaster of a week and coming off of two losses to start our season, there was a lot of pressure on us. I remember that the week of training even felt long. Going down a goal early didn’t help either. But the fans stayed right by us during that game and definitely got us the 3 points. The noise after that final whistle is something I won’t forget.”
Expectations for 2024
Powell believes that the team’s play last year puts them on the right track for success in USL2. He’s preparing for the season like he did last year, and hoping everything will fall into place.
“We have high expectations for this year but they are also expectations we believe that we will achieve.”
“Now we have the experience and knowledge, I think we just need to continue on the same path and we will be successful”.
The Paradise Fan Base
To Caleb and the team, a crucial part of their success was the full support from the Paradise fanbase. From showing up at away games, to even having a record breaking number of 1,083 fans at the last home game for 2023, Paradise fans are truly the base of the team.
“My favorite part about the fanbase is how engaged they are when we’re playing. They helped us get that goal in the dying moments of the game. Even in away games Paradise fans are loud. Most of the time louder than the opponents fans.
“Those 1000 fans at the final home game of the season were the loudest fans I have ever played in front of.”
The community aspect within Sarasota is in the front of Powell’s mind. He says it feels like one big family. He loves going to downtown restaurants with his family and watching the sunset on the beaches nearby. To Caleb, everything about Sarasota feels like Paradise.
To see this young talent back on the Paradise field, get your season tickets today!