Charlie Flowe’s notifications were blowing up last September with the birth of his first child coming a week after making the announcement that he would be the head coach of a new women’s soccer team in Philadelphia.
Nine months and too many sleepless nights and abbreviated conversations with his wife to count later, Flowe was able to celebrate the first home win for Philadelphia Lone Star’s women’s team last weekend with his wife and daughter in the stands at the South Philadelphia Super Site.
“I’ve learned from being a first-year head coach and being a father for the first time that you have to expect the unexpected, you have to realize every day is a challenge,” Flowe said. “You can’t map out your day on a timeline and expect it to go as planned. You have to just weather the storm in these types of games where you think you have a win in the bag and it turns into a loss or you think you’re having a good day with your kid and things hit the fan.”
Being a head coach, Flowe said, is much easier than being a dad of a newborn.
“It’s definitely taken a toll on me mentally, physically,” Flowe said.
Flowe spends his days with his daughter and his evenings coaching with Lone Star and also coaches girls for United Philly Soccer and is an assistant coach for the men’s team at Jefferson University. He’s been a goalkeeper coach on the men’s side for Lone Star since 2017 and has co-hosted the World Sports Show radio show (WPPM 106.5) since he started it in 2009.
Juggling schedules was a challenge before becoming a father but he now alternates with his wife, Kate Clark, who works during the day and is home with their daughter while he’s coaching in the evenings.
“Honestly, it’s been hard,” Clark said. “I think we’re setting a great example for our daughter that she has two hardworking parents, but it means we spend very little time together as a family.”
The family of three lives in South Philly, within walking distance of where the Lone Star teams play their home games. Last weekend the women’s team, which plays in the Women’s Premier Soccer League, hosted their first two home games on Saturday and Sunday. They drew CAFC Osprey of Delaware 1-1 in Saturday’s game and beat Old Dominion Cesena USA 5-1 on Sunday.
“I’m proud of his accomplishments and all the work he’s put in to make this team a success,” Clark said. “I’ve enjoyed taking our daughter to games and events and she likes it too.”
Flowe’s connection to women’s soccer began as a fan watching the 1991 World Cup back in his home town of Newport News, Virginia. Through coaching and eventually his radio show that started in 2009, he started to pay even closer attention to the women’s game. He covered the short-lived Philadelphia Independence professional team on the World Sports Show and did play-by-play for Sky Blue FC for a season.
“I love learning about the game, I love learning from the players and I love being a fan of the game; sometimes I have to take my coaching hat off and just go to a game and enjoy it,” Flowe said. “It’s pretty much what I live and breathe. I have a great family that supports me in my dream job and it’s something I really cherish.”
Philadelphia Lone Star Women has enabled him to take that passion for the game to a new level. He’s been busy over the last nine months scouting local colleges and connecting with other players from the area to assemble his inaugural roster while also working with sponsors and managing other operational aspects of the first-year team.
The timing hasn’t been ideal, but Flowe said the Women’s World Cup in France offered a perfect platform to launch a team in Philadelphia and give soccer fans an option in the city to support the women’s game. The WPSL also has teams in West Chester (Penn Fusion), Bucks County (Philly Fever and Torch FC), Central Pa. (Hershey FC) and the Lehigh Valley (Lehigh Valley Tempest).
“I think having a daughter now does change things when I’m not just a coach but I’m also a father to a daughter,” Flowe said. “Now it personally affects me because I want to make sure my daughter has all the opportunities I had as a male player growing up. My fight for the women’s game and the girls game will still be the same but it does add a lot of fuel to my fight.”
Flowe will be on the road with his team on his first Father’s Day. Philly Lone Star, which is tied on points at the top of the Colonial Division of the Mid-Atlantic Conference after a 2-2-1 start (WDL), play CAFC Ospreys at Delaware Turf Sports Complex in Milford. For more information, visit www.philadelphialonestarfc.com/women.