Amateur North Texas soccer players to take on MLS pros

It's an underdog story you probably haven't heard of.

A group of guys who play a Sunday men's soccer league somehow managed to get themselves into a duel with a Major League Soccer team.

A local brewery held a fundraiser Wednesday night for the NTX Rayados, a group of guys who get together play soccer on Sundays and get a drink after. But now, the amateurs are playing the pros.

Few things go together better than a pint and soccer.

“I have two passions in life: beer and soccer,” said Michael Peticolas, founder of Peticolas Brewing.

Peticolas is a passionate fan of the sport. So when he heard about the Rayados' story, he offered his brewery to help.

“These guys are just working their normal day jobs,” he said. “Tonight, we're donating 10 percent of our sales to the Rayados to help bring home a victory to Dallas.”

The team isn't a professional squad. They're amateur players. Their home is at Richland College. The next one field they play on is going to be a bit of a bigger stage. They’ll soon take on Major League Soccer squad, the Houston Dynamo, whose players make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

“Everyone has just 9-5 jobs,” said NTX Rayados Team Manager Tony Rodriguez.

“We are not paid at all,” said NTX Rayados Center Back Brandon Pfluger. “We've got a vice principal on the team. We've got several teachers, middle school, high school, theatre. Currently, I'm studying for the BAR exam. I didn't think we'd be getting this far.”

The reason they're here is the U.S. Open Cup, a tournament that pits guys who drink beer after the games against the pros. Most amateur teams don't make it far, but the NTX Rayados made it the fourth round.

“Every game we're playing for each other, no matter whether it's in our Sunday league or if it's in these games,” Pfluger said.

Unlike the pros, the NTX Rayados need fundraisers, like the one Thursday night at the brewery, to help cover costs for away games.

“It's hotels, flights. I mean, you name it,” Rodriguez said. “It's just part of stuff we're not used to, but we'll make it work one way or another.”

And one way or another, the squad will be facing an MLS team in just a few day and hopefully extend their David vs. Goliath run.

The team already beat one professional squad in their journey to the fourth round, although it was not an MLS team.

If the NTX Rayados win against the Dynamo, there is a chance they could play against FC Dallas.

Up Next:


  • Popular

  • Recent

Stories You May Be Interested In - includes advertiser stories