Wednesday will mark a big day in the 12-year history of City Soccer FC. What started as an indoor facility in West Palm Beach, Fla. has evolved into an outdoor team that has cultivated a soccer community for local players to showcase their talents. Now, those talents will be on the national stage as CSFC prepare to face Miami United in the 2022 Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.
For founder and owner Boris Jofre, this has been a long time in the making. In 2010, the Chilean native felt a soccer void in South Florida that needed to be filled, so he invested in an indoor facility.
“The community needed something different with indoor fields,” said Jofre. “For 20 years or more since I got to this country I played indoor, I played friends and we’d get kicked out of parks and indoor places, so I said to myself ‘I got to put the funds together’, and I ended up opening this facility.”
The 75,000 square foot facility has a restaurant, full-service bar and hosts a variety of parties and events throughout the year. That was just the beginning for Jofre and City Soccer.
With the indoor program booming, the community started to take notice. Players from the local area and nearby Division II school Palm Beach Atlantic University started to join leagues and play their offseason indoors. In 2013, Andres Colman was added to the City Soccer marketing team, which led to the creation of a City Soccer Select team. Those local players became staples for the early days of competitions in the South Florida area.
In 2016, the team was entered into a competition called the Football Five World Cup, a five-a-side indoor tournament played across the world, with teams going through qualifying to represent their nations on world’s stage. Though they were eliminated their first year, 2017 saw the side beat all their national competition to win the right to represent the US in Beijing, China.
Not only did City Soccer play up to the competition, but they won the whole thing, becoming the five-a-side champions of the world.
The goalkeeper of that 2017 City Soccer team, Fernando Cortes, now plays for the outdoor team that will take the field on Wednesday night in the Open Cup. Having started with the Sailfish of Palm Beach Atlantic, the 5’8” goalkeeper has stayed with City Soccer through it all.
“The staff, the organization, the one thing that they let us know is we’re just not a team, we’re a family,” Cortes said, “With City Soccer FC, no matter who’s been through, who’s coming, who’s going, City soccer is always gonna be remembered as a family group.”
That core mentality has kept players coming back, even after turning pro or playing elsewhere. The camaraderie and togetherness that exudes from the top-down has led to success both on and off the pitch.
While the indoor team continued to find success in international tournaments, the outdoor team started to be born. In 2016, the 11v11 team was founded, playing in local leagues around the Palm Beach area. Up until 2019, they dominated those local leagues, but there were still bigger aspirations. So, in January of 2020, City Soccer FC joined the UPSL, the step forward to their goals.
Over the next year and a half, the City Soccer FC team dominated both UPSL and the NSL’s Florida divisions, leading them to where they are now, starting their journey as an amateur team in the US Open Cup.
With this current iteration of the team, there are three players to watch out for this Wednesday: Auner Escobar, who plays on the right wing, is a technical player that loves going 1-v-1 against defenders, while the team’s striker Ricardo Tapia is a big, strong player up top that gets in good positions. The captain, Juan Vasco, is the team’s general in the midfield, winning the ball, playing quickly, and has a presence in the midfield that helps the team overall.
“We’re at this level now and it’s a huge stage for us,” Jofre said, “We’re really excited about it. And now, I hope we have a good result after Wednesday. I think it’s it’s a very important game and anything could happen, but we’re definitely prepared for it.”
City Soccer FC will travel just an hour south to Ted Hendricks Park in Hialeah, this Wednesday for their match against the NPSL’s Miami United FC. The winner will play on the road against Miami FC (USL Championship) in Round 2. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+ at 7:30 p.m.