The original vision of Real Arizona Futbol Club was to give an economical opportunity for all skill levels of young athletes to participate in an organized sport. In 2017, a handful of players from ages 5 to 10 and a few volunteer coaches came together to practice as a soccer club. A few weeks later, the group celebrated their Saturday match as an opportunity to gather in red and black uniforms, strategize as a team, build comradery, hear cheers from the sidelines, and establish friendships while playing a sport they enjoyed.
With 5 seasons now under the belt of the Real Arizona FC organization, the original mission for the team still thrives. The players have not only grown in technical skills, but physical strength, maturity, responsibility, and respect. Real Arizona FC started solely as a recreational team. Although the younger teams continue to learn the game of soccer and teamwork, the older groups have put their collective expertise into action and have reached a competitive level that offer a serious challenge to any opponent they face.
The Real Arizona teams continue to push their limits as they build on technical, tactical, and conditioning skills. A goal of Real Arizona is to boost self-esteem, character, and endurance, but more importantly to generate an athlete armed with leadership, integrity, perseverance, and an appreciation of the hard work required to be a team player. With this, Real Arizona strives to encourage each athlete to become a lifelong enthusiast of wellness and physical activity and to believe they can be a vital part of their community both on and off the soccer field.
Founder, President, Coach
Coach Rafael Rodriguez, the Founder/President of Real Arizona Futbol Club is not a coach by experience, but by circumstance and passions for the game of soccer. With 4 boys of his own, he had a desire to spend quality time with them, growing their character and teaching them to be a vital part of a team.
After being in two other soccer clubs, he decided to start a club of his own to give opportunity to more kids and families. His zest for the game led him to build the Real Arizona team in 2017 with a handful of players. With some coaching classes under his belt, Coach Rafa combined his commitment, determination, and love for the sport of soccer to build and inspire a group of players to become a competitive team on the pitch.
He manages the club, coaches the 2011 boys team and coaches a U13 Recreational indoor team at a local facility. For Coach Rafa, it is not just about the number of goals scored, but the lessons learned, the character built, the integrity instilled, the endurance and strength gained, and the pride in the heart of a player both on and off the field that make his vision a reality.
Vice President, Coach
Growing up, Coach Eddie was involved in various sports all year-round. From Tae Kwon Do to baseball during his youth, to football, wrestling, and track & field during high school. Coach Eddie joined the U.S. Army where he continued to compete in wrestling and Tae Kwon Do at the amateur level. It was his time in the military where Coach Eddie embraced the culture of camaraderie and unity; along with hard work and discipline.
After having his first son, Coach Eddie provided him with opportunities to participate in various organized sports; ultimately dedicating himself to the sport of soccer. Coach Eddie recognized the talent and interest his son had, that he made it a point to learn the sport and gain an in-depth knowledge by applying similar tactics and strategy used in other sports.
Coach Eddie began coaching indoor soccer at the Avondale Sports Complex in 2015. Coach Eddie (along with other parents) was concerned with the coaching staff at the time after recognizing an opportunity to improve the coach/player relationship, emphasize team cohesion, and improve morale. Coach Eddie along with another parent created a new team and won numerous indoor championships. Coach Eddie has held multiple roles in the world of soccer and continues to coach indoor soccer, Varsity Soccer Head Coach for Maricopa Institute of Technology, and for Real Arizona FC 07.
Coach Eddie currently has two sons that play on Real Arizona FC, another 2 other sons that will undoubtedly follow the tradition.