New San Francisco Deltas soccer team kicks off in 2 weeks

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- In less than two weeks, the San Francisco Deltas soccer team makes its debut. The team is a member of the North American Soccer League, a level below Major League Soccer.

It's been an uphill battle for the new team which faced some community opposition.

They have 22 players from around the world.

RELATED: San Francisco Deltas find new home at Kezar Stadium

"I think San Francisco has a lot of potential for soccer and the community is excited, and so are fans," says Devon Sandovall with the Deltas.

While the Deltas have many people behind them, not everyone in this community welcomed them with open arms. Last March, some expressed their concerns about traffic and having the team at Kezar Stadium where beer and wine will be served.

"Six thousand cars does not work," complained one person.

But the team was allowed to play at Kezar following a plan to spend nearly $1 million to improve the stadium. The city liked that the team will play only 18 home games a season. The rest of time, Kezar will be used by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. No tax dollars were spent.

The Deltas are now focused on winning over the community.

"Over one-third of our stadium will be priced at under $20 dollars, giving away over 200 tickets to community groups and non-profit groups per game," explained Matt Berson with the SF Deltas.

"We exist and don't exist yet because we haven't played officially games. But we want to focus on growing and building within the community," said Coach Marc Dos Santos.

Saalih Muhammad is the only local player. He grew in Richmond where soccer was not the sport of choice for many kids.

"I think it's a really good opportunity for the minority kids to see a different sport that reaches globally," said Muhammad.

The team says it wants to be the inspiration for the next generation of players.

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