WUFT News

Players Seek To Bring Men’s Soccer Team To Gainesville

By on October 20th, 2013
Samuel John uses his legs to juggle a soccer ball

Katie Campbell / WUFT News

Samuel John, Forest Park Rangers manager, warms up before a practice on Oct. 1. John founded the Forest Park Rangers on Aug. 19 in hopes of building Gainesville's first professional soccer team.

At 14, Samuel John discovered what others around the world had grown up with: a passion for soccer.

After moving from Basel, Switzerland, to Gainesville at 9, John said he found himself in a city more concerned with American football and less with putting young soccer players in the spotlight.

John, now 20, took his first step toward building the men’s soccer culture he hoped Gainesville would embrace. On Aug. 19, he founded the Forest Park Rangers by registering the team with the Gainesville Regional Soccer League.

“Every now and then I would look at players like myself and think, ‘Man, imagine how good this guy would be if he were scouted and received professional training,’” he said. “It always dawned on me how, given proper training, anyone could achieve the caliber of a professional footballer.”

With $3,000 in contributions, from his parents, John hopes to climb from “C League” to “A League,” building sponsors and support. His goal is to make the Rangers the first professional, independent team in the city.

“We want the youth of Gainesville to have access to a professional club that will foster talent and provide the high level opportunities that people like me were denied before,” John said. “No one deserves to be overlooked.”

The 22 Rangers, ages 17 to 30, and reserves on the roster found their way to Gainesville from places as diverse as Kuwait and Venezuela.

Despite their differences, they share soccer.

Joel Castillo, a third-year Santa Fe College student from Ecuador, said soccer has always been a part of his life. He joined the Rangers because he agreed with John’s passion and ambition.

“It’s just something I feel like a lot of us are born with,” Castillo said.

But Castillo, 24, said his dream of playing on a professional level feel out of reach.

“We all know we are aging and that our time to become professionals is extremely short,” John said. “However, even if we were to leave Gainesville to play in a club in Europe, we would not abandon this project.”

Part of the problem for older players, John said, is the lack of opportunity available at the collegiate level at the University of Florida.  Though UF has a women’s soccer team, the men’s team is considered a club, meaning it doesn’t compete nationally.

Chip Howard, UF’s executive associate athletics director for internal affairs, said the university has never had a men’s soccer team. Because of Title IX – a federal civil rights law prohibiting sex discrimination in education — men’s soccer would mean men’s athletics at UF would outnumber women’s, which is prohibited under the law.

UF isn’t trying to exclude or discourage young men from playing, Howard said.

Because the Gainesville league is co-ed, all teams are required to play at least three female players of 11 on the field.

Now, the Rangers have three female players. John hopes to form the Forest Park Lady Rangers eventually, but for now, the rule is “immoral and sexist,” he said.

“Let’s face it,” John said. “When you are defending against a female player, an overweight player or an elderly player, you just don’t go as hard against them as you would against a player of professional caliber.”

While looking for future Rangers, John said he found a few players who disagreed with the way the Gainesville league is run and who refused to play.

“It is a shame that they sit at home and waste their talents because of a lack of serious competition,” he said.

Paul Miller, a registered agent with the Gainesville Regional Soccer League, said a league strictly for men was suggested several seasons ago, but team captains rejected the idea, which he said indicated a desire to welcome competition from both sexes.

“I have suggested to Samuel that he gain some experience with the league before he criticizes it for something it does not pretend to be,” Miller said in an email. “Perhaps he will discover the unique asset that the league brings to approximately 600 players in our community — men and women of a variety of backgrounds, ages and nationalities who all enjoy an organized soccer playing opportunity.”

Even in the wake of what the team sees as unfair rules and guidelines, the Rangers have seen success so far.

The Rangers is second in the “C League” with one loss out of six games.

Mathiena John, Samuel John’s mother, said she believes the team will succeed.

“We feel that Sam’s dreams and ambitions are genuine and that his livelihood depends on the pursuit of those dreams,” she said. “We have always supported Samuel in his endeavors and we will always continue to do so.”


This entry was posted in Sports and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.
  • Daniel Ozuna

    AMAZING! It’s about time someone started this!

  • Gary Tate

    The men’s club team does compete nationally..

    • Erik

      Yeah what they meant to say was that they are not an NCAA sport so they receive very little money from the school and don’t get much of the spotlight or prestige as an NCAA counterpart would receive.

  • Guest

    A story about GRSL and the players who have taken part in that league for years would be more interesting than this guy’s whining.

    • Guest

      Whining? So someone finally steps up and decides to bring higher level organized Soccer to Gainesville and you’re already hating? GRSL has been a Co-Ed rec league since 1982. It’s not matured into anything special. It’s just a fun league with no real future. Sounds to me like you’re jealous of this guy and everyone else that agrees that Gainesville should finally get a professional Sports Club! I guess haters gonna hate!

  • GRSL woman player

    If a player thinks he is as good as a professional player, then he shouldn’t worry about hurting a woman, elderly, or overweight player on the other team because he would be able to beat them with finesse. I think the real reason decent players hate the league and don’t play in it is because the reffing is HORRID and biased against anyone who is not a GSA coach.

    • Ashley

      I agree that the reffing is in fact autrocuious and biased, however I don’t think you understood the whole part about the “woman, elderly or overweight player”. The point of the article is not about beating such players with “finesse”. It’s about the lack of high level competition. Playing against women, the elderly and overweight players is “too easy” is what I think the article is trying to say. In other words, a descent, high level or Pro player shouldn’t be able to beat his competition so easily. There is no real joy in outplaying a woman, an elderly or an overweight player. The competition is inconsistent and thus a high level player would feel the matches to be unrealistic and often unchallenging. Now couple that with the League’s reputation for terrible and outrageous refereeing and you can see why a lot of great players refuse to play in the GRSL.

      • GRSL woman player

        I think the biggest thing that the league is lacking (apart from refs who have actually played the sport) IS finesse and technical play. Those are the signs of a high-level, well-disciplined individual player and team– a team that could eventually be of professional caliber. My hope is that this team brings that to the league instead of adding to the chauvinism and violent play that already exists in the league.

        • Ashley

          I agree completely. Let’s just wait and see what this guy and his new “club” can do. I’m really excited to see this work out. One thing though, I’m pretty sure FPR’s membership in the GRSL is temporary. Sounds to me like this club is just using GRSL as warm up and a player recruitment tool. I’m actually anticipating FPR to leave GRSL soon. I mean, on their official Facebook page it says that the club hopes to play in a pro League like the USL and maybe one day even MLS. If that’s true then GRSL is just a temporary phase. A tool to kick start a campaign.

          I personally am excited to where this may go. A professional sports club for Gainesville would be really nice to see. Perhaps FPR can one day even expand beyond Soccer and incorporate other sports like Pro Basketball and Pro Volleyball and what not. That would be really amazing to see.

          All this has got me thinking. If they ever make a Forest Park Rangers Stadium, will it be at Forest Park? Well, time will tell. Let’s just hope and see where this can go. Just hope for the best I guess.

  • MOJO

    Sam, Ive seen you play and trust me buddy you aren’t any better than any other players who plays in this league. “When you are defending against a female player, an overweight player or an elderly player, you just don’t go as hard” Seriously??? some of the female players that play in this league have more talent than your whole team. If you are so great why dont you play for the mens club team? you wouldnt last a day..

    • Robert

      I’ve known Sam for 4 years now. Sam is actually one of the best players I’ve seen in town. The reason he doesn’t play for the UF club team is because he doesn’t go to UF. He could easily make the UF club team though, I personally know 2 players on the team that agree. One of them was Mauricio Vargas who was captain of UF’s club team and wanted to recruit him when he was still in highschool. I think what he’s doing is really noble. Really don’t understand why people hate on the dude.

    • odawg

      salty

      • this whole thing is ridiculous

        Mauricio Vargas never recruited this kid. I have also “seen this kid play” and he is no where close to “one of the best players in town.” MOJO is absolutely right he wouldn’t (and didn’t) last a day

  • beardedmeat

    People are forgetting that GRSL is a “recreational” league. Players in the league have real world jobs and are no where near being professionals. Professionals dedicate most of their lives to the game. they have regular and well organised practices at dedicated fields. How many teams in GRSL hold regular practices of at least 3 days out of the week? yes some can play pretty well, but there’s more to organizing a team and I doubt any of the teams in GRSL is ready to put the time and effort into such an endeavor…and as long as they remain as they are, the league wont even sniff a bit of professionalism…coupled with bad refereeing.

    • Daniel Ozuna

      Everyone knows that. Samuel is only using GRSL as a warm up. He told me that FPR will leave GRSL after recruiting the best players it can get in the City.

      Obviously nothing will happen in or through GRSL. GRSL is just a phase to market the idea of a Pro Club for the City. He’s not trying to make GRSL a Competitive League. GRSL has nothing to do with what he is trying to accomplish with FPR. He’s trying to establish FPR as a pro Club in Gainesville. A travel team that will one day play in USL. Not everyone can travel 2 hours to Orlando to play. Why not make a club right here? And one that Gainesville can call THEIR OWN!

      I think he has a great idea and I honestly don’t understand why any Soccer fan wouldn’t want a team they can support from their very own city!

      • Guest…

        Any soccer fan would want a pro team in their city. I think the reason that this is controversial is because, from the way the article is written, Samuel sounds extremely arrogant and whiny. Frankly that attitude does not set him apart from many other soccer players. It actually makes people think less of him and quicker to criticize him. Maybe that isn’t really his personality, but that is how he is represented in the article. People want to support the underdog- a humble guy (or girl) who has overcome great odds without whining about them, and who has gone the traditional route, facing the same challenges that everyone else faces (for example working their way up to the pros, from childhood competing locally, at the state level, regionally, and nationally as well as competing in the Olympic Development Program). People don’t want to support someone they feel is taking a short-cut, especially someone who appears arrogant.

        • .

          The article isn’t even supposed to be about him! It’s supposed to be about supporting the creation of Gainesville’s first pro soccer club! But if you’re gonna talk about Sam then as a friend of his whose known him for a long time, Sam has gone through a lot hardships that I’m sure most of us don’t go through. I’m not sure he would want me to talk publicly about it so I won’t. The point is that all the hate comments here are based on the false portrayal of one of the kindest and most wonderful persons I know of. Shame on people for focusing on him instead of the idea he is unselfishly trying to promote for the city of Gainesville. I for one am extremely upset that people here are hating on him based on a false concepts and misunderstandings. Regardless of what kind of person he is (and he is a very nice and humble person) we should be focusing on the beautiful idea of Gainesville having it’s very own sports club and pro soccer team. Some of the haters here are so quick to Judge.

  • Annoyed with Arrogance

    Has anyone ever read an article that quoted LeBron James complaining about the local rec. basketball league not being good enough for him to play in?! …I’m guessing your answer is no. And why? Because everyone recognized his talent, he got drafted into the NBA, and he doesn’t need to waste his time playing in the local friendly league. And he certainly doesn’t need to waste his time bragging to the local media about how good he is and how bad everyone else in his town is. Comparing LeBron to the other local ballers from Akron, OH is like comparing apples to oranges…two completely different types of players; two completely different types of competition. Now, let’s say LeBron decided to join the local league anyway. Do you really think he would ever lose a game to any local “sub-par” team?!….especially in the lowest possible division?! Absolutely not! Lastly, let’s say LeBron was still an undiscovered talent, now living in Gainesville, FL. What would be his apprehension in driving 2 hours to Orlando and trying out for the Magic???

    The point is: aside from publicly criticizing 600 people who are having fun every Sunday sharing the same passion for a game, this immature doofus boasts about how great he is and how he would be playing professionally, if only the opportunity presented itself. Maybe he is an undiscovered phenom who hasn’t been noticed yet?! I doubt it. But if that were the case, Orlando FC is only two hours away and already part of the USL. Why isn’t he playing there? He could save himself the time, effort and massive amounts of capital it would take to form his own USL club. Either way: Samuel John (two first names?! Ricky Bobby?!) in the meantime you may want to recalibrate your level of skill because your record indicates that you’ve been beaten by some of us “girls, fat guys, and old farts” that play in the GRSL. Good luck. I hope your performance on the field isn’t as poor as the reputation you just made for yourself.

    • Ahmad

      My name is Ahmed. I am from Kuwait. I and 4 of friends study English in UF’s ELI programme. We all play professionally in Kuwait and also for Kuwait’s Youth National Team. I met Samuel about 1 month ago. Samuel is actually a very amazing player. I play with him and he move a little like Di Maria. Anyway, I go to watch FPR games. First thing I notice is the terrible refereeing. Also FPR usually play down players because they only have 2 or 3 Girls total and they can’t come sometimes. Also, Samuel doesn’t play much. He told me he refuses to play much because he wants to focus on managing and marketing right now. He only Practices with the team (and I practice with them).. In the League FPR won all the games that Samuel play in. They only lose when players are missing. I and my friends will join FPR next season because Samuel’s dream to make a pro club for Gainesville is a nice idea. In Kuwait, every town the size of Gainesville has at least a Semi-Pro team. In Europe smaller town than Gainesville have professional teams. What Samuel is doing is for Gainesville, not for himself because he is selfish or something. He wants to make soccer revolution in Gainesville so people can have pride in their city’s soccer team.

      Samuel explained to me his plans and how he only using GRSL to practice and recruit best players so that later FPR can move to other leagues and eventually have enough support to buy into USL or something.

      Samuel said he is moving back to Europe in 6 months because he is going to sign a contract with Molde FC in Norway. He also has a trial with some Swiss team. I think he said St Gallen. But he said that if he leaves he will keep working with FPR and help Gainesville create its first Professional Club.

      He’s not trying to do anything to GRSL or in GRSL. He’s only here to start the team and to recruit the best players so later they can leave GRSL. He understand GRSL is just for fun. It’s not serious.

      Now I don’t understand why persons like you hate Samuel. He is really nice guy. Even as person, he is very kind and he wants to help everybody, especially young aspiring professional players. He said he’s doing this for the next generation of Gainesville soccer players. Not for himself. So please stop bashing him. He’s doing this for the City.

      I practice with his team and his team is very good Tactically. They don’t have the best players because he took any player that volunteered when he first made FPR. But as time goes by, better players will be recruited and you will all see FPR will be made of the best discovered players of Gainesville.

      I and my friends want to help Samuel until we study here in UF. Just need support from everyone and we can make dreams a reality for Gainesville.

      • Annoyed with Areogance

        His intentions may be good, but his approach is poor…to say the least. If his plan is to “use” GRSL to recruit the best players, how many people do you think would be inclined to play with someone who publicly criticizes them for being “female, over weight, or elderly?” Had this guy been featured in an article that simply stated his HUMBLE intention of starting a professional club and his plan to give undiscovered GRSL talent an opportunity to be a part of it, he probably wouldn’t be getting bashed so badly by so many people. The approach he took and his choice of words just make him seems arrogant and immature, which are two marks you don’t want on your reputationwhen you are trying to gain people’s respect and win them over. I agree that plenty of players would love the opportunity to play at a higher level and many players share his same “passion for soccer”, however, nobody will want to play with someone who is a self-proclaimed soccer god that insults the same group of talent from which he is hoping to recruit. If his plan is to focus on managing and marketing, he may want to work on the marketing part a little more because his first piece of publicity (this article) is only marketing an immature narcissist.

        • Alex Garcia

          He is not a self proclaimed soccer God. He actually does have the skill, talent and recommendations to back him up. I’ve seen him play down here in Boca Raton and talked to him. The guy actually is an amazing player who was scouted right away to play for FAU, but he moved back to Gainesville because he doesn’t want to play in college. The 6 months he was down here in Boca in 2012 we played games here and I watched him play. First thing to note is that the guy is actually very humble. I’m surprised the Article makes him sound the way he does. I guess it’s different when you read about a stranger on bold text than when you talk to a real person face to face. Sammy has played at a high level in England. He was even offered contracts when he was 17 but refused because he wanted to come back and finish his education. In Boca he also started his career as an actor which he never talks about to anyone because he hates bragging. This guy is an ocean of all kinds of talent and now I found out he’s also trying to be an entrapaneur. So what I want to say is that the guy is not self proclaimed in anything he says or does. He has talent and experience to back him up. Anyone whose ever seen Sammy play here in Boca knows what a great player he actually is. He wasn’t the best I’ve seen, but for his age at the time, he definitely was the best in terms of potential. For someone who started playing soccer at the late age of 14, i must say that he is a phenomena. He improved 10 times as much in half the amount of time i’ve played Soccer. People here think i’m a great player, but after meeting sammy, let’s just say that there are people out there that have seen him play at his best and he is definitely no pushover. I asked him why he doesn’t just go back to Europe to play and he said that he will do so after he’s done studying. That’s why in the article he says he will continue to support FPR even when he goes back to Europe.

          Sammy is definitely not self proclaimed. He may not be the best player ever, but he certainly has love and desire which led to his outstanding potential and talent. If you personally get to know him, you’ll realize how humble and nice he actually is. He never get’s angry on the field. And he never criticizes anyone. I’m sure what he said in the article is not intended to be taken the way you or some of the other over sensitive commenters on here. If you actually knew Sammy you’d understand how and why he is the way he is.

  • .

    Samuel’s helping the community by providing an alternative outlet for soccer players to engage in a professional manner and to further pursue their passions. I personally believe that Gainesville has needed this long over due concept to broaden Gainesville’s soccer community.

  • Two seasons

    Meanwhile, we’ll be waiting in the A league….

  • GRSL player for 17 years

    If this guy wants to start a pro team, then why doesn’t he just start a pro team (why even start in the GRSL)? I think there would be better avenues (like talking to people in the USL on the best way to start a pro team in G’ville, instead of bashing the horrible league he plays in. As far as the league being “immoral and sexist” for not having a men’s division, the claim is simply ludicrous. The league’s captains recently voted to NOT have a men’s division (there was a men’s division in the late 90s/early 2000s which disbanded because the players didn’t want to keep it going). I, personally, started the women’s division in 2007, with a LOT of hard work and recruiting. I went to the Board, proposed that I do all the work, and figured out how to make it happen. And, I don’t even play in the women’s division anymore! Instead of doing the same thing to form a men’s league (actually taking the $3,000 his parents GAVE him). Shame on WUFT for doing this ridiculous “story”. There are SO many great stories that are a part of GRSL (this past weekend, a father and son played against each other in a division “A” tournament game, many players have overcome huge personal obstacles, etc).
    Instead, a story is published where Mr. Johns takes the lesser route and name calls with no factual basis. Mr. Johns has been playing soccer for merely 6 years? I have cleats/boots older than that! Clearly, one thing he hasn’t learned about the brotherhood/sisterhood of soccer is respect. Maybe his parents can buy some for him.

    • Mathiena John

      I like your view,because it is so wonderfully inspired by ignorance and jealousy.

      • GRSL player for 17 years

        Not quite. Interesting how a 20 year olds mommy runs to his defense. A 20 year old who truly believes he saw a UFO earlier this week in Gainesville (see his FB page). Also, I just found out this guy wasn’t good enough to make the varsity soccer team at Eastside, so played JV?!! How on earth is he going to play professional soccer or even semi-pro? Come on. Its a battle of wits with unarmed people. I’m done.

        • Anthony92

          Yeah, unlike some people, Sam actually has family that cares about him.

          And your stupidity is beyond mind boggling. A UFO simply stands for “Unidentified Flying Object”. Anything in the sky that is flying and not identifiable is a UFO. Read the post where he describes what he saw. He didn’t make any mention of aliens or anything like that. UFO’s are as real as your great great grandmother. Now as for playing JV. Sam never played JV in his life. He had surgery in his 9th year to remove a cancerous tumor that kept him away from physical activity for 6 months. He played Varsity for Eastside and then moved to England to play in a youth pro team after he sent footage to a club in Blackpool. He was offered to sign a contract but returned to finish his education. I think he also coached the JV Girls at Eastside one season. I don’t think you’ve ever really seen this guy play. There is a reason he has Professional players wanting to send him out to South America and Europe to play pro. Sam has phenomenal potential and improved in 6 years more than you probably ever could in 30 years. He did all that through love and passion. Something ignorant scumbags like yourself wouldn’t understand. He’s faced a lot of hardships to get where he is, and fools like yourself are simply jealous of Sam’s talent, ambition, potential, love and support.

          Don’t let idiots like these hold you down bro. I believe you can do great things man. I’ve seen you play down here in Boca and you are definitely an incredible player. To improve and excel beyond most other soccer players in less than 6 years. That’s amazing bro. You’re amazing and your ideas here are amazing. You have my support and the support of every true soccer lover! Don’t let these jealous idiots hold you down.

          • Gville

            I can’t wait to crush his team in GRSL. Well, I guess I’ll have to wait for them to move to the A league first. I do not recall seeing him on the Ocala roster.

        • GainesvillePatriot

          Sorry to break it to you darling, but UFOs are real. UFO is a term used to describe ANY unidentified object in the Sky. It can be a balloon, an air plane, a bird or an Alien Space Ship. It doesn’t matter. It’s a real term.

          But why are we even talking about this? What does UFOs and how Good or Bad this young man is as a Soccer Player have ANYTHING to do with the POINT of article? This article is about forming Gainesville’s first ever PRO Soccer club. It has nothing to do with Mr. John nor does it have anything to do with UFO’s or his personal Facebook posts.

          It sounds to me like your personal attacks against him are originating from severe jealousy and dislike for an individual who is clearly better than you not only as a Soccer player, but as a Human being. While he criticizes the current state of Soccer in Gainesville, at least he is taking action to improve the Sport and take Soccer Culture in Gainesville to the NEXT LEVEL. At least this young man is a man of action, where as you sit behind a computer and discourage the good he is trying to do for our city. You are simply a coward sitting behind a computer screen looking at Mr. John’s Facebook posts so you can have more material to bad mouth him. In the end you simply go back to your pathetic life until the next guy with a great idea steps up. And then you repeat the process.

          Now, I don’t know this young man personally, but I’ve been reading all the comments here and if everything here is true, especially from the people who personally know him, then it sounds to me that Mr. John is quite a phenomenal player who would already be playing professionally in Europe right now if it weren’t for his love for Gainesville.

          According to the article, Mr. John has only been playing for about 6 years and he has already been getting interest from clubs in Europe. I’m pretty sure if he weren’t that good, he wouldn’t have PROFESSIONAL CLUBS interested in signing him. It sounds to me like you are simply jealous of this fine young man. It seems you are resorting to bringing up unrelated things like his Facebook posts and how good he is as a Soccer Player because you are jealous of him and simply have a personal dislike of him. Perhaps you feel that he is actually going somewhere with his life and you envy his talent and ambition? I mean why else would you talk about him instead of the point of the article? In case you STILL haven’t figured it out. The article is about creating a Professional Sports Club that Gainesville can be proud of and call their own. It’s not supposed to be about Mr. John.

          You are done indeed. Please return to your pathetic life darling and leave the ambitious who strive for success alone.

  • Jim Bob

    I’ve been involved with the GRSL since ’99 (I guess that puts me in the ‘elderly’ category) as a player, captain, and I’ve even held different positions in the executive board. The league is not educational, it’s recreational, so it’s co-rec. The GRSL’s objective is clear on their website, so how can a rule that requires a certain number of female players to be on the field ‘immoral and sexist?’

    If players think they are professional caliber players, they don’t need to sit around and waste that talent. They can simple drive to Ocala and see if they make the Stampede roster.

    I agree with 17 years. There wouldn’t be any adult soccer in the area if it were not for the GRSL. Why don’t you run a story about that? Or, you could run a story about the benefit tournament the GRSL held to help raise money for a players son who was seriously injured. Or, you could run a story about a player organized memorial tournament for a players deceased son. Those are stories about a soccer community coming together.

    In the meantime, I’ll take my ‘elderly’ self and keep schooling tools with no skill.

    • Alex Garcia

      Sammy already played in Ocala Stampede. Now he’s trying to help Gainesville make its first club and he’s getting hate from jealous commenters like you. Sammy is at least still appreciated down here in Boca. It looks like Gainesville isn’t a soccer player friendly place! What a shame.

      • Jim Bob

        Alex, sorry you feel the need to jump to your boy’s defense. Exactly what did I say about Sammy that was hateful or expressed Jealousy?

        • Alex Garcia

          It’s not what you said about him, it’s the fact that you talk about him at all. This article is supposed to be about soccer fans of Gainesville making the dream of a professional soccer team for Gainesville a reality. We should be talking about the idea of your city having a pro team it can call “it’s own”. One that the city can be proud to say COMPETES AT A HIGH LEVEL NATIONALLY!

          The fact that there is so much focus on Sam instead of the dream of Gainesville having it’s first ever pro soccer club is the problem. This article isn’t supposed to focus on him but rather the future of high level soccer in your city. I suggest giving a little respect to the guy that is so unselfishly trying to help your city’s Soccer Culture. He’s not doing this for himself. He’s doing it for Gainesville. He could have easily gone to Europe a few months back but he decided to stick around and set up the foundations before he moves back to Europe to play. That’s a pretty noble thing to do. So what if the article portrays him negatively in some parts? What about all the positive things he’s trying to do for your city? Obviously he said some things he did not intend to be taken so negatively by people, but get to know this kid a little and you’ll quickly find out what a respectful and unselfish guy he really is. Seriously, just give him a chance. In the end it’s about the idea and your city. Not about him.

          • Jim Bob

            You might want to re-read my initial comment; I make no mention of him. It was you who brought him up in your comment. Your soapbox of his ‘noble’ deed does not answer my question.

  • Kano

    The thing is… there is a difference between a “fan” and a “”supporter”" and a “lover” of the game… It can’t be developed.. it has to come from within and mostly. I’ve seen everyone’s comment and frankly they are fan’s or supporters but not lovers of the game.. otherwise they’d be on the pitch and not on the laptop’s or pc’s… All you guys do is compare to history and make things blah blah the bah up… ! But when it comes to taking action and rising up. you guys are cowards and like little scrawny foxes. Everybody has the right to think what they believe in.. and everybody has the right to express. The guy here is passionate and wants to take the club and wants the local support. is it too much to ask.? Is he asking you guys for money.? or charging you with tax’s.? He just wants support. so instead of whiening all day haters… can’t you just make things right and support the guy and be cool for once.? or are you so self centered as to hide behind the bedroom door and keep scrawning like a weird diseased fox….

  • savedme

    Lofty aspiration but I applaud his sincere love for the game, determination and competitiveness. Couldn’t hurt Gainesville and its anothe option for soccer in Gainesville …you have the option to play at the level you choose or with whom or whatever sex so why criticize it? Back the freak off homeboy…just sayin

  • Gville student

    Sam wants to make Men’s league to play hard but when he goes to play in flavet with young students his age he wusses out and plays like a softie.

    • Another Gville Student

      Yeah right, because Flavet is the best field to play a serious game on and the students are all secretly competetive professionals that don’t mind getting dirty on a field that looks like a cow farm. Give me a break bro, Nobody at Flavet actually plays seriously.

 

More Stories in Sports

Louisiana State University quarterback Anthony Jennings (10) during the first half of the LSU at Florida game at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida, Saturday Oct. 11, 2014.

Pictures: Florida Gators vs. LSU Tigers

The Louisiana State University Tigers defeated the University of Florida Gators 30-27 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 in Gainesville, Fla.


Florida running back Matt Jones (24) carries the ball during the second half of the Florida vs. Kentucky game in Gainesville, Florida Saturday, September 13, 2014. Jones ran for 156 yards during the game.

Pictures: Florida Gators vs. Kentucky Wildcats

The Florida Gators won 36-30 in triple overtime in an NCAA football game against the Kentucky Wildcats at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday, September 13, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida.


Florida wide receiver Andre Debose (4) makes a 29-yard punt return during the Florida v. Eastern Michigan game in Gainesville, Florida Saturday, September 6, 2014.

Pictures: Florida Gators vs. Eastern Michigan Eagles

The Florida Gators won 65-0 in an NCAA football game against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Saturday, September 6, 2014 in Gainesville, Florida.


Deonte Thompson

Baltimore Ravens, Former UF Football Player Accused of Possessing Marijuana

Update Feb. 23 12:48 a.m.: The other passenger arrested with Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Deonte A. Thompson has had run ins with the law, including prison time for two attempted murder charges. In June 2007, Erskine J. McKinley, also known as [...]


The Gators run a blue versus white scrimmage toward the end of their practice. Florida only gets to practice on Wednesday nights due to a hectic academic schedule and about an hourlong commute from Gainesville to Jacksonville.

Despite No Local Home Rink, UF Hockey Team Battles On

Over the years, the University of Florida has accumulated 31 national championships in 12 sports, but there is one sports terrain it has yet to dominate – the ice.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments