Coachella FC: Life In The Desert

June 18, 2024
3 mins read
Coachella FC Badge
(Photo: Oliver Tensley for the Soccer Times)

By  Oliver Tensley .

THERMAL, Calif. — Coachella Football Club kicked a ball for the first time just a month ago in USL League Two yet already dreams big.

“I can take this club to the top of MLS,” owner Rolando Inostroza said. “In the Coachella Valley there is too much talent…it would be a dream come true, that’s why I came here and got this franchise…I will do it for the city of Coachella.”

Rolando Inostroza is Chilean, yet chose to found a club in California due to belief in the Coachella Valley.

“This club is special because the people are special, they are working class people who…by playing here have the opportunity to get out and be recognized all over the US,” he added.

The Coachella Valley is small and much eclipsed by the presence of Los Angeles and San Diego in Southern California, yet big dreams have a home in the small valley.

It is impossible to mention the word “Coachella” without an elephant in the room — the music festival. But, Coachella FC does not shy away from any aspect of where it’s from. In fact, every bit of the valley is a badge of honor to the club.

Coachella Road Sign
(Photo: Oliver Tensley for the Soccer Times)

At home, one can feel the area’s festive presence. Despite the loss, their match on Tuesday, June 11, against the Ventura County Fusion felt more like a party than a football match.

Ventura County opened the scoring in just the second minute, led 2-1 at half-time, were 3-2 up late, the hosts equalized in the 90th minute, then the Fusion found two in stoppage time to run out 5-3 winners .

But, the atmosphere in the stadium was as entertaining as the match itself. Coachella FC do not have a permanent home stadium, as today they rotate between local schools (this is largely due to plans to build their own stadium in the coming years).

Tuesday’s match was played at Coachella Valley High School in Thermal, Calif.

Coachella FC view
(Photo: Oliver Tensley for the Soccer Times)

No home stadium, however, does not mean no home traditions. A DJ set up at the bottom middle of the high school bleachers and played music throughout the match. It was not constant, but the presence of techno music during the game was certainly unique to Coachella.

Furthermore, the club seemed to have a tongue-in-cheek attitude about it. When Ventura County was slow to take a corner-kick the DJ began to play music from the show, Jeopardy to imply it was time to hurry up. The music was met with laughter from the crowd.

This does not mean the club does not value the traditions of the sport, quite the contrary. Most important to those at Coachella FC was giving local kids the chance to play.

“It brings us great pride to be able to be here and have this team out here in Coachella,” said head coach Joseph Aldape.

“We have a team mostly made out of locals…and we’re giving them the opportunity to come out and show what they have.”

USL 2 Logo
(Photo: Oliver Tensley for the Soccer Times)

Local players are the identity of Coachella FC, but not just on the pitch.

“The identity of the club is the sporting values ​​that make better people in society,” Inostroza said.

The love is reciprocated from all corners of the area. At one point in the match, a man could be heard yelling, “Cabazon,” the name of a nearby town, presumably as a way to represent it.

Leyver Guzmán lives in the Coachella Valley city of Cathedral City, Calif., and has two kids, Eric Guzmán and Leyver Guzmán Jr., who play for the club.

He said, “This [club] is a dream for everybody, that is why we try to stay together and support this new project for this area.”

Mountains and Soccer Net Coachella
(Photo: Oliver Tensley for the Soccer Times)

Watching Coachella FC it is unmistakable where one is. The logo may feature a palm tree (the club’s shorts even subtly do as well) but the heat will not let one forget either.

Sitting on the bleachers, it was 100 °F (38°C) for the club’s 7 PM kick-off. As fans returned to their cars for full-time, now past 9 PM, the temperature had dropped to a still quite warm, 88°F (31°C) (the day’s high was 108°F or 42°C).

Palm trees and barren mountains encircle the high school stadium quite closely as well. As one watches Coachella FC it is clear that the Colorado Desert is underfoot.

Coachella FC is football in the desert, but not a footballing desert. Goal-kicks are taken with mountain peaks peering over the goalkeeper’s head, throw-ins are thrown with palm fronds drooping behind, and the second half was accompanied by the infamous beauty of a desert sunset.

Joshua Tree National Park is not 45 minutes away by car, and the Salton Sea is not even 25.

This is Southern Californian football. As Southern Californian as In-n-Out or a pair of Vans, but a different SoCal.

Closer to the California-Arizona border than the Santa Monica Pier, but as proud as any other region. Never believe there is no life in the desert, Coachella Football Club is alive and well.

1 Comment

  1. **Coachella Soccer Club: A Dream Turned into Reality**

    In the vibrant city of Indio, California, I met Nacho, a sensitive individual with great ambitions and aspirations. His dedication has made the dream of many young people who are part of the Coachella Soccer Club come true.

    This venture is not just about a soccer team, but a place where young people can dream while awake. Coachella Soccer Club guides them towards a world of winners, giving them the opportunity to achieve their sports and personal goals.

    It is exciting to witness the excellent performance of Coachella Soccer Club and feel the energy and eagerness to succeed that these talented boys convey in every game.

    Nacho’s titanic work and the enthusiasm he provides to each young person are worthy of admiration. He motivates young people to dedicate their time to sports and discipline, keeping them away from idleness and cyber life.

    Coachella Soccer Club becomes a beacon of hope, showing young people a path to success based on effort and dedication. It is a place where dreams come true.

    Congratulations to Coachella Soccer Club for their hard work and for inspiring future generations!

    **Coachella Fútbol Club: Un Sueño Convertido en Realidad**

    En la vibrante ciudad de Indio, California, conocí a Nacho, una persona sensible con grandes ambiciones e inquietudes. Su dedicación ha hecho realidad el sueño de muchos jóvenes que forman parte del equipo de fútbol Coachella Fútbol Club.

    Este emprendimiento no solo se trata de un equipo de fútbol, sino de un lugar donde los jóvenes pueden soñar despiertos. Coachella Fútbol Club los guía hacia un mundo de triunfadores, brindándoles la oportunidad de alcanzar sus metas deportivas y personales.

    Es emocionante presenciar el excelente desempeño de Coachella Fútbol Club y sentir la energía y las ganas de triunfar que transmiten estos talentosos chicos en cada partido.

    La labor titánica de Nacho y el entusiasmo que brinda a cada joven son dignos de admiración. Motiva a los jóvenes a dedicar su tiempo al deporte y a la disciplina, alejándolos del ocio y la vida cibernética.

    Coachella Fútbol Club se convierte en un faro de esperanza, mostrando a los jóvenes un camino hacia el éxito basado en el esfuerzo y la dedicación. Es un lugar donde los sueños se hacen realidad.

    ¡Felicidades a Coachella Fútbol Club por su arduo trabajo y por inspirar a las generaciones futuras

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Irvine ZetaFC Orange County
Previous Story

Irvine Zeta FC: A Local Global Club In Orange County, California

Capo FC Logo and Ball
Next Story

Capo FC: Grassroots American Soccer

Latest from Blog

Capo FC Logo and Ball

Capo FC: Grassroots American Soccer

By Oliver Tensley. SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, Calif. — Capistrano Football Club, more commonly known as Capo FC, is a club for its community. Many clubs say that, but few capture the feeling

Don't Miss