LOVES PARK, Ill. (WIFR) Sometimes all it takes is a second shot to make a dream come true. Rockford FC hopes to help soccer players get that chance to play at the next level.
"It means the world, to be able to give someone a chance to play."
First year Lutheran boys soccer coach Samir Romero is taking on a new challenge. He is in charge of a new semi-pro soccer team, Rockford FC.
Dozens of athletes recently put their talents on display for the non-profit club, including Auburn grad and current Rock Valley soccer player Isaias Nieto.
"There's a lot of talent here that not a lot of people get to see because there's not a lot of ways for people to get noticed out here," said Nieto. "Other than club, like Raptors, one of the biggest clubs here. I think it's going to be good for a lot of people."
It's also an opportunity for those out of college. Guilford grad Carlos Galvan said he wanted to try out for the semi-pro team in DeKalb, but work did not mix with the travel.
"I'm so grateful. Something close, something that can actually lift us up to the next level, just Rockford in general," said Galvan. "It's something the whole city needed."
"At this point, we're here because we love the sport." explained Galvan. "We don't think that what we had in high school and college, this is the end. This is just another opportunity for us to be there and to continue to play the sport."
All the coaches are volunteers. As a non-profit team, the players and coaches do not get paid. All funding for the club is through sponsorship and fundraising. Romero said this has been in the making since last May.
"Even as much effort as it as been and as it's taken time away from the family, trying to make appointments, try to contact people, at the end of the day, it's all worth it."