TULSA, Okla. — A team of local soccer players is trying to put Tulsa on the international map.
These young athletes have been invited to compete in Spain, but they need the community's support to get there. The WSA 05 Sharks is part of the West Side Alliance, a local non-profit soccer club. Many of these young athletes are aspiring professional soccer players from several Tulsa area high schools.
Joseph Falls is a junior from Jenks High School. He's played with the WSA 05 Sharks for about six years. He said his teammates have become like a second family to him.
“I’ve been on this team for a really long time and I just really enjoy being with them,” Falls said.
The team is ranked number one in the state and 18th in the region. Together, they've shared many memories and victories. The team qualified in the Nationals Final Cup three years in a row in Denver. In 2021 they were finalists.
Last year the team was invited to compete in Spain, where they will attend several trainings and compete in multiple tournaments. The trip would cost each player around $4,000. They initially turned down the opportunity because most players come from low income areas and their families could not afford the trip's expenses.
This year, the team was invited to compete again. This time they are doing everything in their power to get to Spain.
“Experiencing soccer in Spain will be very beneficial for their growth and even if they don’t become professional soccer players, they will become soccer coaches, you know for Tulsa, Tulsa schools and they will become leaders in soccer to where they will be able to guide future generations,” Trujillo said.
Trujillo's twin sons play on the team, so for her those expenses would be double. Like any parent, she years for her kids and every player to have this one-of-a-kind experience.
"It’s been a lot of work, we’ve done a lot, a ton of fundraising, car washes, selling stuff, and it’s just constant work to try and get the funds to get over to Spain, but not only that, it’s also the training and the practices to get better so we can compete and get spots on the team over there,” Falls said.
The team's fundraising goal is $75,000 by November, and right now they say they have just under $10,000.
In addition to their fundraising activities, they have also created a GoFundMe page. If you would like more information about the team or how to donate, click here.
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