Utica, N.Y. - Utica's soccer team plays in the ten-team Accelerate Sports summer league where they are undefeated and will play in the league final, Wednesday.
The team is made up of refugees from all over the world, all current proctor students, but doesn't have direct affiliation with the school.
The team played two less games than the rest because they didn't have the funds originally to field a team.
Through an adjusted price from Accelerate sports, $800 was dropped to $600, small payments from the players themselves and charitable donations from local businesses, they were able to get closer to their financial goal.
What they couldn't raise from those methods, team manager Chris Salo put in his own money to pay the difference to allow these student-athletes to play.
"The reason why I did this is because there's such great talent and skill with these kids, it's unbelievable. We're undefeated in the summer league, they're just so good, they work together really well," Salo said. "It's a shame that this much talent would just sit by while all the other high schools have teams in the league."
The players voiced their gratitude towards Salo for helping them to be able to play this summer.
That's pretty great, I mean for a man to put money for us to play, that's keeping us off the street, from doing bad things," said Umuhire Guruware. "I appreciate it."
"I'm happy that Chris is doing this for us because some of us don't even play leagues and stuff most of the time," said Hsahedoh Lah. "Then he's right here paying for us and everything so I'm really happy."
Utica takes on Clinton for the league championship on Wednesday at 6:55 p.m. at New Hartford High School.
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