Local pro soccer team earns national title shot | VailDaily.com

Local pro soccer team earns national title shot

Freedom FC defeats Front Range team in one-game playoff

EDWARDS — The local professional soccer team earned a national title shot by hammering a Front Range team.

Freedom FC defeated the Colorado Rumble FC, 16-9, Sunday in the Mountain Rec fieldhouse.

By winning the one-game playoff the Freedom earned a spot in the national championship tournament, later this month in Cincinnati.

"We hope to bring home the trophy," Freedom coach Mike Schneider said.

A little help, please

The Freedom plays in the Premier Arena Soccer League, the highest level of soccer in Colorado next to the major league Colorado Rapids, Schneider said.

Of the 42 PASL teams in the U.S. and Mexico, 10 — eight from the U.S. and two from Mexico — made the national championship tournament March 23-24 in Cincinnati.

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The Freedom could use some help and sponsorships to finance the trip, Schneider said.

"It's great for the community," Schneider said

Blowout wasn't close

Sunday's match was a blowout, but it wasn't as close as even the lopsided score indicated.

The Freedom led 10-2 at halftime, after trailing 1-0 early in the match when the Rumble scored the first goal.

"They scored first and everyone got a little nervous. We told each other, 'Relax, there's 45 minutes to play,'" Schneider said. "We scored two in the next couple minutes and didn't look back."

Schneider had promised some of the younger players he'd put them in if the Freedom was up by 10 goals late in the match. They were.

"We loaded up the field with developmental players in the fourth quarter," Schneider said.

The Rumble scored four quick goals on the youngsters to pull them within seven goals and the final 16-9 score.

Local soccer legend and Eagle Valley grad Caesar Castillo scored five goals, as did recent Freedom addition Stevie Palma.

"Caesar tortured that goalie," Schneider said.

Mario Vargas scored twice. Fabian Tapia, Efrain Gondolas, Erick Briones and Mahe Danny scored once.