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Melting pot of talent drives Detroit Waza Flo soccer to national stage
2:59 PM, Mar 2, 2013
7:31 PM, Mar 2, 2013
MELVINDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) - Soccer isn't their day job, but for the 28 members of Detroit Waza Flo soccer club, their sport is more of a lifestyle.
Most of the team works as the coaching staff for the organization's youth program, but others work around the city or take classes to get a college degree. Heck, one guy is an investment banker.
Remarkably, in just five years, a group of talented misfits from all over the world has meshed together well enough to compete for a national title in the country's largest indoor soccer league.
"Soccer always brings people together, and bringing people with different cultures to blend together, ultimately we're trying to achieve one goal, and that's the championship," forward Victor Otieno declares.
From Redford to Northwest Ohio, to Brazil and Kenya, Waza Flo is made up of a melting pot of playing styles and personal backgrounds.
"The fact that we all have a unique soccer background from different cultures makes it easy for me to take the style from Argentina, the creativity from Africa, and mix them with local players that come from Detroit, and now all player together," owner and head coach Dominic Scicluna explains.
Their success has made an impact on the national level. This season, they're on a crash course to fight perennial power, the San Diego Sockers, in the PASL Title Game. The motivation is there for Waza Flo to return, as a rematch of last year's title bout that San Diego won.
Put this into persepective: Waza Flo had to downsize from Compuware Arena to a smaller venue outside of Dearborn called the Melvindale Ice Arena and Community Center. The arena fits 1,000 people. San Diego regularly sells out in front of a capacity crowd of 13,000.
"They have money, sponsors, and we just love playing the game. It's probably David and Goliath, and it's gonna be fun to see the little guy come out big,'' goalkeeper Joe Kapinos explains.
The Sockers have won 13 championships and hold one of the most respected records in sports you may have never read about. From 2010 until January of this year, they compiled 48 straight wins. That's good for the best in any professional sport in North America -- ever.
"They are Goliath...and David. The San Diego Sockers are everything," Scicluna says.
"But I think we're the best team in the country."
Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter for WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter