WCFC brings big numbers at tryouts for U19 and Semi-Pro teams

71 players from all around the tri-state area tried out for the Worthington Community Football Club Semi-Pro team, 64 tried out for the U19 squad.

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Kody Honius guards the net against a strike during a drill in the Worthington Community Football Club tryouts.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

WORTHINGTON – The Worthington Community Football Club had 71 players from across the region compete in its Saturday semi-pro tryouts. The U19 team had 64 players.

The semi-pro team is gearing up for its inaugural season this spring, and will be competing in the United States Premier League.

“We are incredibly excited, one of the things we want to improve in this area is the amount of kids going out and playing at a four year university,” said Patrick Mahoney, a co-owner of the club. “That is a big thing for us, educationally, athletically there is a lot of benefit to that. There are a ton of kids and a ton of coaches that are going to have eyes on this.”

The oldest to try out was born in the year 1986, while the youngest was born in 2008.

The on-field drills during the tryouts were organized by Eswin Hernandez, a co-owner of the club, and Mario Cordova. Instructions were given in both Spanish and English.


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Charles Saydee runs with the soccer ball as the WCFC perfroms drills on pace duringa tryout at the JBS Fieldhouse.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

“It was a lot of fun. I got to meet new people and it was a good experience,” said Dougla Macias from Sibley, Iowa. “It’s pretty cool seeing how many people the tryouts can get together, just different people coming together for a sport they love.”

Macias, who tried out for the U19 team as a right back said he was glad to see a community club start in the area. “It’s different from high school soccer. It is a big opportunity and I would like to see more of it so more people can play on bigger teams.”

“It's a cool experience, you get to see other people's skills and talents, but you get better from the experience and everything,” said Anthony Escobar of Sheldon, Iowa. He tried out for striker on the U19 team. “I was playing in one of the Sunday leagues with my dad when Eswin told me to try out.”

“It’s not just about soccer, the other thing is we are representing this place in the Midwest,” said Mahoney. “At first it was just Worthington, and then Southwest Minnesota, and now it is kind of this particular area in the Midwest so we know people have eyeballs on us and we want to make sure we are doing them right.”

Players from all across the area came to showcase their talents. Many players came from Worthington, but others hailed from Marshall, Fairmont, Redwood Falls, Sioux City, Sibley, and Sheldon.

“This year at tryouts we had people coming from all over the tri-state area,” said Mahoney. “To have that growth and exposure in a year, and to have an infusion of talent from the area has been incredibly exciting and eye-opening for us. I don’t know how you can’t get excited about that.”

The UPSL will feature teams from more metropolitan areas, but that challenge is embraced by the team.

“A lot of time in sports it's the metro versus the outstate. We have a lot of pride, we know there is a lot of talent in this area,” said Mahoney. “You use the word showcase, and that is exactly it. We want to give these kids a platform to showcase their talent like somebody in the metro could, and that is what the UPSL is going to do.”


“This is going to be a next step that was not possible before, and the dream is that this is not the last step for some people and they can continue their soccer and play wherever that is,” said Mahoney.

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Eswin Hernandez gathers equipment while players run in the laps around the JBS Fieldhouse.
Dominic Burns/The Globe

The tryouts were held at the JBS Fieldhouse. “It is an amazing amenity, and we are incredibly lucky to have it,” said Mahoney. “Without it we would be practicing in gyms and there just isn’t anything else that meets our needs.”

In addition to the semi-pro team, the WCFC also held tryouts for its upcoming U19 team.

“For the U19 team, we had so many talented kids and we were so excited about that, that we couldn’t even make cuts like we wanted to,” said Mahoney. “We are just going to continue to trial. We are bringing more than we thought because there is so much talent and we need to see them in an area where they don’t have 70 kids running around, give them a fair shot.”

The co-owners Jason Johnson, Hernandez, and Mahoney credit the Worthington community for supporting the upstart club.

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“Soccer, like so many sports, can be a pay to play sport,” said Mahoney. “We are incredibly lucky that with the support of this community, we are able to make this work. I am a teacher. The three of us cannot do this by ourselves. We have this idea but without the backing of the community, this idea cannot exist. This is truly Worthington Community Football Club, in that it exists because of the community. We are grateful that we have the support that we do with all of our sponsors, because without them this does not happen.”

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Dominic Burns is a reporter at the Globe who covers general news and sports.
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