Semi-pro soccer kicking off in Vail Valley |

Semi-pro soccer kicking off in Vail Valley

Lauren Glendenning
Vail, CO Colorado
Special to the Vail DailyBrandt Marott, the head coach for the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District's new semi-professional soccer team, brings a lifetime of soccer experience to Vail Valley the team.

VAIL, Colorado –Vail Valley resident Brandt Marott hasn’t put on his soccer shoes in years, but soccer is something that’s in his blood.

Marott will be the head coach of the Western Eagle County Metropolitan Recreation District’s new semi-professional soccer team, the Freedom Football Club. The team is hosting its try-outs in September, but the recreation district has already put together a coaching staff with some serious soccer credentials.

Marott has played soccer his entire life, from little leagues as a grade-schooler to professional soccer in both the National Professional Soccer League and the Continental Indoor Soccer League.

Assistant Coach Matt Zaremba played soccer for the University of Colorado and the National Soccer League of Chicago, among others, and he’s a member of Pepi’s Soccer Club in Vail and coaches for the Vail Valley Soccer Club.

Assistant Coach Lee Jones has played and coached all over the world and is the director of the after-school programs for the Youth Foundation, including the rec district’s middle school soccer league.

As if the experience from these three guys isn’t enough, in comes Assistant Coach Corey Bruce and his 20-plus years of soccer experience. Bruce has coached for the Colorado Explosion, Extreme and Rush, including state and regional championships and two top-two finishes nationally. Bruce is also the coaching director for the Vail Valley Soccer Club.

Try-outs for the team aren’t a joke, either. There will be a two-day invitation-only try-out that will likely establish most of the team, Zaremba said. Players from Pepi’s Soccer Club and La Liga, a men’s league with hard-core players, swill be some of the Freedom Football Club’s standouts, Marott said.

“We’ll have a couple of superstar Latinos hopefully,” he said.

An open call try-out will happen about two weeks after the invitation try-out.

The coaches aren’t sure about eligibility requirements yet for high school boys, but they’re hoping they can get a few on the main team or the reserve team.

Zaremba said it would be great exposure for high school soccer players, because scouts from colleges and the professional leagues don’t typically come up here.

The Freedom Football Club is also hosting a soccer academy where some of the team’s best players will teach soccer skills to local children. Zaremba said the rec district keeps costs low for just about everything it sponsors, so he’s sure the academy won’t be any different.

The rec district also plans on adding youth and adult leagues as part of the Freedom Football Club sometime around January.

The main team and reserve team will have 13 players each, with the reserve team acting as a pool of alternate players to pick from. The team will play eight games during the December through March season, traveling around the state and hosting its first home game sometime in the beginning of the year at the new field house in Edwards.

Zaremba and Marott are excited for the team to get going and said there’s no lack of soccer interest in the valley. There’s about 900 kids in the rec district’s soccer club alone. The coaches estimate there’s at least 1,500 kids who play organized soccer in Eagle County.

“There’s a lot of soccer here,” Zaremba said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

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