Going Full Circle: Casey ChubbFertal '18 Returns to Thailand to Realize Professional Soccer Dream

Going Full Circle: Casey ChubbFertal '18 Returns to Thailand to Realize Professional Soccer Dream

Growing up in four countries on three continents provided Casey ChubbFertal '18 (Eugene, OR) with a unique childhood, to say the least.  From tasting different cuisines to driving on the left side of the street, from utilizing a golf cart as a common mode of transportation to attending a sporting event in neighboring countries, his experiences have shaped him into the man he is today. 

Beginning at age nine, he spent his formative years in Thailand, where he relates to the culture and the attitude of the people more than anywhere else. He sees them as friendly, kind, and always striving to be helpful, which are characteristics that ChubbFertal hopes to emanate.  Thailand has been a place that he considers home.

"I've always believed that at some point in my life I'd be back in Thailand… it just seemed like everything fell into place," he shared via email.  In late December, ChubbFertal landed a contract to continue his soccer career with Muang Loei United in Thailand. 

Since the club's recent rebranding in 2016, it has twice won the region and finished third once.  The team holds high expectations for championships every year while competing in one of the top leagues in Thailand Pro Football.  Last season, Muang Loei United won the title, which adds to the excitement and the expectations for ChubbFertal. 

He is one of two foreign players on the roster for the upcoming season.

"This is a tremendous opportunity to live in another country and to live out my dream as a professional athlete," he stated.  "I hope to showcase myself and all that I have learned while playing my four years at Redlands and possibly pave the way for more athletes to come abroad."

While competing for Head Coach Ralph Perez at the University of Redlands, ChubbFertal immediately made his presence known by starting in all 22 games during his first season and then stepped it up offensively each subsequent year.  By the time he had completed his career, the All-America midfielder had 28 goals, 18 assists, and 74 points to his name.  While starting in a school-record 88 games for the Bulldogs, he helped Redlands capture four conference championships, two postseason tournament titles, and an NCAA Quarterfinal appearance.

"It wasn't until I went to Redlands to play for Perez, and [assistant coaches Nico] Johnson, [Cale] Rodriguez, [Cody] Carlson, and [Claudio] Rivas that I really believed I could continue my soccer career," he added.

Believe it or not, the future Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Athlete of the Year almost didn't play soccer in college.

"Redlands was one of the very few places that wanted me [to play soccer] after high school and [being a Bulldog] turned me into a very confident and consistent player, which I think is reflected in me being able to play at the next level."

ChubbFertal continuously impressed with his leadership skills, competitive determination, and tactical abilities. 

Academically, he excelled as well.  He earned his degree in Business Administration in only seven semesters as a two-time member of the SCIAC All-Academic Team.  In 2016, he became a National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Scholar-All-American.  During his senior season, which was also his final semester at Redlands, he earned a spot on the Dean's List as well.

Clearly, the Redlands coaches were right when they saw something special in ChubbFertal.  This not only motivated them to recruit him but to remain committed to helping him grow and succeed when presented with opportunities such as this one.

"Casey is one of the best players I have coached at Redlands," commented Perez.  "He is a complete player, very athletic, a leader on and off the field, and definitely gifted.  There is no question that he has the talent to play at the professional level.  It's very exciting for Casey to return to Thailand to play the game he loves in a place that means so much to him."