When sophomore Adrian Garcia-Esteve and his suitemates first talked about starting a men's club soccer team, it was just an idea that they didn't really take seriously. Or at least, his friends didn't. After much effort, Garcia-Esteve has actually made the team happen.
While there's been interest in starting a club soccer team at Geneseo for some time, the red tape barring its conception has stopped many before Garcia-Esteve. He said that the school was not helpful at all, viewing the team as a "rogue organization" and offering no support or funding. The team can't book time on a field since they aren't affiliated with the college. Instead, they have to wait until no one else is using the field to get the time in, often playing in the evenings until dark.
Though it's been a struggle getting it started, Garcia-Esteve said when he held tryouts this past weekend, 60 men showed up to give it a shot. The group was made up of a solid mix of freshmen, sophomores and upperclassmen and they now have a team of 26 ready to play their first game. Garcia-Esteve is confident about their abilities.
"With a lot of teams there are a couple stars, but their second line isn't at the same level," Garcia-Esteve said. "With our team, I would feel comfortable starting with any of our players."
The team is a part of the New York State Collegiate Club Soccer League organization, and it will play in a western conference against teams like their first opponent St. Bonaventure University. Team members will have to pay dues to help pay for equipment and league costs, but they have received some support from local Geneseo businesses such as Swain Sports, Mama Mia's and even bars like The Vital.
The team doesn't have a house off-campus yet like many other sports teams do, but Garcia-Esteve said that he wants to see that happen and that he is optimistic about the possibility. While it's evident that he loves the autonomy that the team has, along with the fact that they are able to run things how they want, he still wants it to be established, and is already keeping his eyes open for someone to take over the team once he graduates.
Right now, Garcia-Esteve said he's strengthening the team by encouraging them to take part in community service projects together, and also by going out and bonding as a team. "It's really important to have everyone be comfortable with each other," Garcia-Esteve said. He wants everyone to be close, and his efforts are already making a difference. He said that there's already an electric feeling among the group, and that he's confident that it's going to be great.
Interested in joining the team? Tryouts are held at the beginning of every semester. Also check out the Geneseo Soccer Club page on Facebook, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.