When the DePaul Blue Demons battle their Big East foes at Wish Field, many of their spectators do not stay for the entire game. It’s not, however, because the match lacks excitement; it’s because these spectators are on moving trains that roll in and out of the Fullerton 'L' station nearby. The hearty clangs and thumps of passing trains make Wish Field a unique soccer pitch, on which aspiring strikers, midfielders, and goalies can learn in camps designed and taught by the players and staff who regularly compete on the field.
Men's head coach Craig Blazer and women's head coach Erin Chastain lead their respective youth camps. For the past decade, Blazer, a former goalkeeper, has helmed the Blue Demon squad, a post he commanded after working with the U.S. national team. Chastain began her collegiate coaching career at Northwestern University before spending five seasons at the California powerhouse Santa Clara.
The two head coaches design their training programs with the help of their assistants, Craig Reynolds and Michele O'Brien. Reynolds' resumé includes stints with the Chicago Fire, and O'Brien's CV includes time spent playing on the Irish national team in 2011, when they reached the European championships.: