On a blazing-hot Sunday morning in July, if you drive by the soccer fields at the Charlie Kellogg and Joe Zaher Sports Complex, you will see all of them occupied by teams sprinting in the Vegas sun. You probably just shake your head and think, “Wow, it’s too hot to walk outside, yet these guys are playing in this scorching heat.” Well, yes, it is too hot to be out there, but we do it anyway. We do it for the love of the game. We do it for the team. We do it for each other. We do it every Sunday. We are the Metro United Football Club.
The soccer interest within the Department was strong in the late 1990s. There were more than 2,000 people in attendance for the first LVMPD/CCFD soccer game in 1999 (which we won). Despite that success, participation faded away as players grew older and joints grew weary. There was not much happening for some time after the boom created by the older players. Around 2009, a group of police officers from SCAC and EAC decided to hold a few pickup games on the east side of town. They weren’t pretty, but it was still “the Beautiful Game,” which we all loved. Slowly but surely, the momentum grew and more players started showing up. The more players we gained, the more talented we became. The pickup games turned into a team we entered into a league. We (surprisingly) went on to win that league on penalty kicks. We were the real deal. We had started something — we just didn’t know it yet.
Fast-forward to 2015, when we have approximately 40 teammates and are regular participants in every major Police and Fire Games. The team has earned a silver medal in the 2014 Nevada Police and Fire Games and a bronze medal in the 2015 United States Police P# 7041 and Fire Games in San Diego. At home, our league games are played every Sunday, and we try to have pickup games on Tuesdays so new players can meet the team. We are always looking to join more leagues to fit the schedules of our fellow officers.
We as officers demand a lot of our bodies, both mentally and physically, so it’s of the utmost importance to practice endurance activities. We have laid the groundwork for a thriving soccer community within the Metro family and we welcome anyone who is interested, so whether you just want to run around and kick a ball or you’re the next Pele, come join us!
Contact Officer Sonam (Sonny) Yarphel for more information at S10034Y@lvmpd.com.