International Soccer Network

"Your Source for the Beautiful Game"

Living the Awesome Soccer Dream: For the Love of the Game

People around the country are living their own soccer dreams each and every day.  A 14-year-old in Lockhart, Texas buys his own soccer club.  A 42-year-old auto mechanic turns pro in Rochester, NY.  And perhaps the most incredible story is that of a 64-year-old man that signs a contract to play in the NPSL, which very well could be a Guinness World Record.

Photo Credit: Houston Hurricanes FC

The first story is that of Nate Gonzales, founder of the Lockhart Knights FC of the Texas Premier Soccer League (TPSL).  Just 14, Gonzales pulled the trigger on a deal that gave him a team that will begin play in 2015. It is not a publicity stunt; Gonzales has a plan and a great mentor in TPSL President Brendan Keyes. The youngster has already secured a major sponsor in Admiral, a world renowned kit supplier.

“Admiral is delighted to be the Official Sportswear partner for the TPSL and when the Lockhart Knights begin play in the league Admiral will be there to support the team,” Admiral CEO Paul Hamburger stated.  ”We think it’s exciting that the club have a 14-year-old owner.  It encourages further involvement from youth in soccer, develops management, business skills, and helps make connections within the game.  It helps to have parental support, the support of the league, and of course, the backing of partners like Admiral who are committed to pro, semi-pro, and youth soccer across America.”

Gonzales also grabbed the admiration of Lockhart Mayor Lew White.

“The City of Lockhart is very excited at the prospect of Nate Gonzales’s role in the Texas Premier Soccer League. We look forward to supporting Nate and his new team and are ready to help celebrate his first championship!”

The idea of owning his own club started with a simple invitation from Keyes to attend a Houston Hurricanes match.  He was hooked from that moment on.

He continues to play goalkeeper for his high school team, enjoying a sport he picked up when his family lived in Germany.

“I play football and love the game,” Gonzales added.  “I thought my city could use a semi-pro team right here. I thought I can make this happen. I am different than other kids my own age. I am a 14-year-old kid with big plans for my team and I will surprise many people just by having a team.”

With a major sponsor on board, Gonzales has turned his attention to filling out his coaching staff and roster.

“I want a coach who will bring motivation. I want players who create chemistry and work well together. The coaching staff has to have experience at this level.”

His story is a great one, one filled with loads of potential thanks to a very supportive community.

“Our city is a sports-loving city so I think we will get a warm welcome to Lockhart. It’s a great place to live and we have a special small town atmosphere, but we will bring big city results to the TPSL and make our fans proud of the Knights FC.”

Members of the soccer community are already proud of Gonzales, someone that is making a difference in the beautiful game at the young age of 14.  We need more of that.

Greensboro, North Carolina’s M.C. McCoy represents an entirely different story at first glance.  A 64-year-old playing in the NPSL seems unlikely, but his story is still one of dreams and getting things done.

Photo Credit: Gate City FC

“I’m in it because I love the game” was a key quote that stood out in our conversation.  Everything seemed to revolve around that central theme.

McCoy came to the U.S. at the tender age of 12, leaving Brazil and a promising youth career behind.  He went from a soccer frenzied nation to one that hadn’t yet embraced the game.  He went from looking forward to be noticed by Brazil’s big clubs and idolizing the great Pele to having no high school soccer team at all.

McCoy somehow managed to keep his love for soccer alive and would eventually end up at Guilford College, where he would participate in both track and soccer.  He even contemplated making the trip to Atlanta to tryout for the Chiefs of the NASL.

Deciding not to make the trip was not the end of the soccer dreams for McCoy, rather it was just the beginning.  This is all about dreams that are delayed, but never destroyed.

He has been involved with the beautiful game as a coach, referee, and administrator for over 40 years.  And he now he has a contract to play with Gate City FC, the local NPSL team.

Will he see the field in 2014? That is yet to be seen, but he certainly has a role with the new team from Greensboro and he knows this one by heart.

“I’m here to encourage people.”

He is doing just that by sharing his own experiences.  It’s about giving it your all, doing it now, leaving without regrets, and staying focused.  It’s about checking one off the old bucket list.  It’s about living your dreams and never giving up.

McCoy is excited to begin, for himself and his teammates.

“I’ll be in heaven if I get on the field. But their dream starts now.”

McCoy is an amazing man, one who is inspiring many others to pursue their dreams.

The soccer dreams of Rochester’s Marc Sotile were also delayed, but they recently came true as the 42-year-old auto mechanic by day became a professional soccer star for the Lancers at night.  Injuries forced the local soccer player into the limelight of the Major Indoor Soccer League (MISL), starting in goal against players who play the beautiful game for a living.

Photo Credit: Rochester Lancers

Sotile’s journey begins with the Rochester Rhinos in 1996, where he trained for nine months.  He didn’t stick with the Rhinos and went on to play in Rochester area clubs for the next ten years, playing through adversity like his father’s death.

Nothing would prepare him for the call that would send him to his professional debut against the league-leading Milwaukee Wave.

“It was quite a dream.  I was in shock.  I thought this can’t be happening.”

But it was and Sotile found himself on a plane headed to Wisconsin.  Even though the Lancers fell to the Wave in his debut, they would go on to beat the local rival Syracuse Silver Knights shortly after. In all, Sotile would go from third-string keeper to starting between the pipes, making seven appearances and registering 103 saves.  His points-against average put him ahead of veterans like the St. Louis Ambush’s Jeff Richey and Pennsylvania Roar’s Peter Pappas.

That’s quite an accomplishment considering that Pappas has been called the best goalkeeper in the history of indoor soccer by former Philadelphia KiXX head coach Don D’Ambra.  Richey is another legend and a regular with the U.S. National Futsal Team, someone who has played in the Futsal World Cup and Gold Cup.  Simply put, this is not bad company for Sotile.

It doesn’t matter how young or old you are.  You can still have and achieve your Awesome Soccer Dreams!

Awesome Soccer believes and invests in American soccer. Awesome Soccer is helping to build and popularize American soccer throughout the United States and the world.  Awesome Soccer builds and manages soccer clubs, helps others to build and manage their own at the local level, and develops software to promote and manage soccer leagues, clubs, and teams.  Awesome Soccer’s Del Rey City SC (DRCSC) in Marina del Rey, California competes in the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL). Their club FC Playa Vista (FCPV) is a highly competitive recreational team, and their club LA City F.C. is building its path in Los Angeles. It’s not Awesome, it’s Awesome Soccer! Visit