Luke Voight - Co-founder
After spending 6 years in Malawi, Africa, we (Luke & Becca) made the difficult decision to move to Sacramento. Malawi had become home to us. We went in 2011 not knowing anyone upon arrival. As we attempted to navigate life in a new land, we continued to find people from the local church and community who went out of their way to make us feel welcome, teach us the language, and make sure we thrived in Malawi. They showed up for us. The incredible hospitality and kindness of the Malawian people and boys on my grassroots soccer team enabled us to settle in and love Malawi. So, upon arriving back in Sacramento in 2017, one thing we wanted to be immediately involved in was showing that warm welcome we learned from our dear Malawian friends to our newest refugee neighbors here in the USA. As we crossed paths with our neighbors from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and other war- torn countries, we came to find that our community is full of incredible, brave and brilliant people. With coaching soccer, we thought we might be able to offer something to them, but we have found the relationships we have with our refugee neighbors to be mutually edifying. As we drew near to them and they drew near to us, deep friendships began to form and we frequently discussed a common love: soccer. We started in the park in late 2017 with a group of boys that led to the formation of a team in 2018. It was certainly chaotic but the kids and volunteer coaches just continued to show up in the park. The name of our first team was named after the park that we met in. Months have passed and our small group of boys has turned into many teams with a wide variety of skill levels and ages playing in local league and tournaments all over the place. It is an absolute joy and honor to be a part of something like what has happened in our neighborhood. We are fully convinced that we live in the best neighborhood in the world because the world has come to our neighborhood. All the languages, backgrounds, skills, and smiling faces from all corners of the globe have turned this once run-down neighborhood into a vibrant community of neighbors who deeply care for one another.
Justin Kennedy - Co-Founder
Local business man and Sacramento native, married for 24 years with two teenage boys. He is an active member of his church and an unashamed follower of Jesus. Justin grew up playing soccer, both recreational and competitive. In addition to his position here he currently also serves on a local soccer board and school board. He has coached soccer for ten years and currently holds a USA National D License. He started officiating soccer when he was in Middle School and is still a licensed referee. Sometime after noticing the presence of new neighbors in the community and having a strong desire to meet and interact with them, Justin was introduced to Luke Voight by way of a mutual friend. He regularly joined Luke in the park coaching the neighborhood kids in soccer, two years later the rest of the story is a wonderful life enriching journey involving new friends from around the world.
Cristy Laya - Secretary
My heart is to see other people succeed in their goals and passions. I am able to fulfill what I believe God has called me to do by being the support to help others realize and achieve their dreams. Sports play a very big role in helping young people to realize their potential and can help shape how they see life. I have been married to Joshua who is a passionate soccer coach. We have one little boy who we are looking forward to watching grow up and see how sports shape his life.
Steven Reitz - Treasurer
Steven and his wife Hayley have been married since 2016 and have one son. They attend Origin Church and have been since 2018. Steven has been a past assistant coach for the U12 Cardinals and hopes to see you out there! He is also an avid reader.
Growing up I played several team sports and believe they helped me become who I am today. Learning to push myself beyond what I felt capable and valuing a team of people led me to live cross-culturally for 8 years in Africa. I became more dependent on God and others there than ever before. I now work as the Mobilizer Manager for World Relief Sacramento, mobilizing people to model Jesus’ love to their immigrant and refugee neighbor.
Jim has been married to Jane for 47 years and they have three children and three grandchildren. He is a soccer dad, with two sons that played years of recreational soccer. Jim serves in leadership and as a teacher at Arcade Church. He is a registered agricultural engineer.