The Boise State men’s club soccer team has spent countless hours each semester crafting their skills only to be discouraged by the lack of fans that attend their games.
From 6 a.m. practices to the endless back-to-back workouts off the field, each of the players on the club soccer team has sacrificed valuable time to produce successful outcomes for their team.
“We get up around 5:30 a.m. for practice four times a week,” said sophomore defender Brady Zocco. “A lot of times people look down on you for saying that you are a club sport athlete. However, I talk to old teammates that are collegiate athletes who say we are working just as hard as them, if not more.”
Although the team puts in a significant amount of effort on a weekly basis and plays their games on Lincoln Field, located near the heart of campus, they are not getting the turnout they hope to get.
The men’s club soccer team is in a unique position alongside other club sports because there is no varsity men’s soccer team at Boise State.
While putting in the same amount of effort as the Division I athletes, they hope to draw in the same crowds and attract the fans who want to watch men’s soccer at a high level.
“We really play because we love it,” said senior striker Zack Tyree. “Division I athletes have a lot of incentives that we are not offered. We are practicing 10 hours a week, but we don’t have a nutritionist. We don’t have a strength and conditioning coach, and we don’t have trainers coming to take care of us before and after practices.”
The team has valued hard work since they began the program a few years ago. They strive to have a winning record each season while competing against some of the toughest club programs in the West including national champions BYU.
“The lack of fans motivates us to get a lot of people to understand why we’re here and why we’re playing,” Zocco said. “If we can get them to games and entertain them and show them that we can be just as good as Division I athletes, I think that will bring a lot of light to our team.”
Besides wanting to attract supporting students by creating a winning and entertaining atmosphere within the program, the team desires support from their peers and community at Boise State.
“Being on the other end of it and being the person that was watching the game, I would say it really brings out the supportive side of wanting to be out there and wanting to support,” said senior defender Ryan Arzu. “Whether it’s a club or not, Division I or not, I am supporting the people that go to my school and that I see regularly in the classroom.”
This team has proven that their hard work and dedication to the sport without all the benefits can still amount to successful outcomes. The cherry on top for this program would be the supporting students and community to go along with their undeniable passion for the game of soccer.