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Darius Ejlali

Soccer has always been a part of Darius's life. He has dedicated more than 28 years to the betterment of adult soccer in the central Triangle area of North Carolina.

Darius Ejlali

North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame

Class of 2023

Darius Ejlali


Soccer has always been a part of Darius's life. He has dedicated more than 28 years to the betterment of adult soccer in the central Triangle area of North Carolina and to the welfare of the North Carolina Adult Soccer Association and the United States Adult Soccer Association. Since 2010 he has served as the Executive Director of NCASA but has never ceased his dedication as a volunteer.  He loves soccer and is living his lifelong dream of giving his all to it.  Few can match his passion.


Two of his greatest attributes are his dedication and commitment. His desire to support the goals of the state and national organizations drives him to develop new ideas and inspiration for the game in North Carolina and the nation.  Enriching the players' experience and playing opportunities has been his driving force.


His dedication over an extended period of time as NCASA State President and as Executive Director has propelled NCASA into being a highly respected state association in Region III and nationally.  Darius's guiding compass is the Good of the Game, exemplified through his barnstorming leadership in North Carolina to submit and obtain passage of General Assembly legislation for a Support Soccer in North Carolina license-plate program. Although he originated the idea and the vision, he successfully encouraged the legislation to be spearheaded by the North Carolina Soccer Hall of Fame so that funds from the purchase of plates would benefit the entire North Carolina soccer community.  The Hall of Fame brings together NCASA, NCYSA, NCSRA, and NCSCA.


In his eight years as Region III Deputy Director and then seven years as Region III Director, Darius consistently championed making the Region III National Cup a sought-after venue for competition at the highest level. He always encouraged team participation from all 12 state associations and sought the best possible fields and playing conditions.  Hours and hours were spent on the phone talking with state leaders and team captains.  The fact that the National Cup is the oldest adult soccer competition in the United States has been a source of satisfaction to him for the time and dedication he has given to strengthen the competition and make it successful.


As State President for 9 years, he established an extensive network among state presidents, administrators, the USASA national office, and US Soccer.  He has always embraced the hallmark standard of encouraging the use of best practices.


As player/coach and team manager, he worked hard to secure sponsorships so the team could pursue regional and national goals without needing to be supported financially by the players.  As a league director, he ran a highly competitive statewide league, which supported adult elite players, former college players, and former professional players.  The league ran from Charlotte to Wilmington and produced some of the best teams in North Carolina.  Darius also helped to form and administer a very large Hispanic league.  He worked with sponsors to assist the league with field costs and prize awards to minimize costs for its members.


One of his proudest accomplishments is the Celebrate the Tatas Tournament of Champions, which completed its 10th year in October 2023. This all women’s event raises funds to donate to Cancer Institutes, which in turn provide free mammograms for women who are under or uninsured. In the last several years, the event has donated over $150,000.


There is no bigger reward in life than to work for the game that you love AND have the game give back to the community in such a meaningful manner.  We all know the power sports have in people’s lives emotionally, mentally, and physically and how soccer brings people together in the spirit of competition. Through Celebrate the Tatas, we now have the opportunity for the game of soccer to give to the community on a bigger level, one that save lives.” Darius Ejlali, October 2021.


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