Three days after a once in 100 year tornado ravaged the town of Mayfield, Kentucky, a soccer team and their families gathered - not for a game or practice - but to clear the rubble from what used to be a flourishing (and Mayfield’s only) soccer training complex.
When they were done, all that was left was a slab of rock where the complex used to stand. So they did what they always do when they come to this place, they played a game of soccer.
This is a story about a man and a soccer field.
Luis “Chili” Pardo came to the United States from Chile over 20 years ago to play collegiate soccer. Soon after, Mayfield, Kentucky became his forever home where he started a family as well as an auto repair shop, a restaurant, a used car lot, and then used his life savings to build The Soccer Factory.
The Soccer Factory became a second home for many (including numerous kids from under privileged families) in the short time since its completion. Mayfield’s population is less than 10,000 and resources like this for youth are few and far between. Soccer gave Chili a lot of opportunities and taught him the life skills he has been paying forward as a coach, a teacher, a leader, and a mentor to the youth in the Mayfield soccer community.
Let’s help Coach Chili rebuild and restore this incredible resource for the kids in Mayfield, Kentucky—who are more than deserving. Our ultimate goal is to raise $300,000 to put the Soccer Factory back together. A generous donor has promised to match the first $100,000 dollar for dollar. Please consider donating, and sharing our story.
Below is a note from Chili’s daughter:
On December 10th, 2021, a tornado destroyed our hometown, Mayfield, KY taking in its path many lives, homes, and small businesses. We are devastated by the tornado's damages to our town. Our facility was taken entirely to the ground and even took the turf blocks away. We are thankful no lives were lost, and league games were canceled that night. Soccer Factory is family-owned; we loved seeing teams from all over the counties play this one sport we all love. We met many beautiful families; many of these families' Soccer Factory had become their second home.
Coach Chili had a vision for our soccer community; with many hours of work, little by little, he made that vision a reality; it took many years of planning and building this facility, and in only a little over a year, it was taken away by this catastrophic tornado. We will find a way to rebuild Soccer Factory, and your help will be much appreciated in any way. We hope to continue teaching soccer and bring new opportunities to our nearby communities; we are sad we cannot see our soccer players in a while.
Thank you for all your prayers and encouragement.