Pa. soccer team overcomes injuries, learns life lessons on the field

Matteo Iadonisi Image
Sunday, November 13, 2022
Pa. soccer team overcomes injuries, learns life lessons on the field
11-year-olds Colin and Sullivan are showing their teammates how to get back up when you're knocked down.

NORTH WALES, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- "This season was really good for us," said 11-year-old Colin Serfass. "We've been growing, we've been moving the ball better, and we've really been connecting."

Serfass is a player on the 2011 Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals Soccer Team Black, the U12 boys' group within the club of the same name. About two weeks ago, he broke his arm during a match against FC Delco.

"It's probably the worst, the worst pain I've ever felt in my life," he said. "And I'm not going to be able to finish the season."

Still, Serfass showed up to practice today ahead of their final regular season game.

"I just know that I can't just break my arm and then not show up for four weeks," he said. "So, I just want to be there to support my team."

It's an attitude that fellow teammate, Sullivan Reilly, demonstrated earlier this season when he fractured his knee.

"I couldn't even like practice. I just had to sit on the bench, but I still supported our team for six weeks," said 11-year-old Reilly. "You know, you don't bring someone down. Bring them up. And like, our team does a really good job of that."

It's a team that has continued to impress head coach Boomer Steigelman at every corner.

"I've been coaching the team for about four or five years and I think this has been our best year so far," said Steigelman. "Early in the year, with having some injuries, we didn't know how we would look now. But right now, we're doing a really good job."

With excitement building surrounding the upcoming World Cup, players have been especially interested in competing in the Premier SuperCopa tournament in June 2023. The event in Bradenton, Florida, has three ways to gain entry: invitation, a qualifying tournament, or by application.

"We got invited last year but we weren't able to go," said Steigelman. "A lot of the local teams will try to apply. So, we just applied and hopefully, we get accepted."

In order to raise the necessary funds to send the team on a trip to Florida next year, the team is hosting various fundraisers. A 50/50 raffle and a World Cup Bracket Pool are currently ongoing and anyone interested can join via the information below.

To learn more about the Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals Soccer Club, visit their website.

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