Sacramento Republic FC, Stockton mayor help youth soccer club after fire

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STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- Scoring goals is far from the only goal of the Select Football Club in Stockton.

“Because it’s not only soccer, we teach them all different things on and off the field,” said Noe Perez, Select FC president and coach.

But Perez’s mission to teach discipline and good sportsmanship to his young players was put on hold when they fell victim to vandalism last week.

Someone lit the team’s storage container on fire, destroying equipment inside and causing roughly $2,500 in damage.

And it was not the first time the team has had to deal with vandalism. Just in the last year and a half, they have been hit three separate times.

“It’s not fair. It’s not right,” said Sacramento Republic FC President and COO Ben Gumpert. “It’s not what these kids should be focused on. They should be focused on playing with each other, being good teammates, working hard.”

When Sacramento Republic FC heard what had happened the team sprang into action. They joined forces with Mayor Michael Tubbs to buy a brand-new storage unit and more soccer balls for the kids, replacing everything damaged in the fire.

“I hope they remember for the rest of their life that yes, a bad thing may happen but more often than not the team, the community will rally itself around and figure out a way to get through it,” Tubbs told FOX40.

“They're an MLS team, so what can I say?” Perez said. “It’s great. I can’t say more how much I feel and the happiness that I have right now.”

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