Special to The Tribune
TRUSSVILLE — For Derek Rios, the beautiful game is worth sharing. That’s why he’s created Total Futbol Club (TFC) to serve Trussville and the surrounding communities: to share his love of soccer with a new generation of players and teach them skills and strategies to increase their knowledge of the game as well as their playing level.
Rios, a native of Toronto, Canada, has played soccer all his life and even represented Canada at the youth level in international competition
He came to UAB on a soccer scholarship where he graduated with a bachelors in exercise physiology and also achieved his MBA. Rios coached youth soccer while at UAB with the Hoover Soccer Club. After graduating with his bachelors he started coaching competitively with Birmingham United Soccer Club. In 2011 he started with Trussville United Soccer Club where he was the executive director for the club from the summer of 2018 until the summer of 2021. He took time off to only coach grassroots soccer but felt led to finally lift off a project he’d always wanted to do.
Derek got so much out of playing youth soccer growing up. He made amazing memories and established lifelong relationships because of it. His coaches always played big impacts along the way. He credits where he is today – married, 2 children, living in Trussville, all because of that experience and those mentors. He’d like to provide lifelong experiences and help facilitate what can be lifelong relationships among the participants and their families.
This past weekend, TFC hosted its first ever soccer camp for boys and girls ages 5-14.
“Our main goal was to create a fun environment where children can develop soccer skills,” Rios said.
TFC brought in coaches from across the state to provide quality instruction, positive environment and an opportunity for participants to learn: Mike Bissell (VHSC), Ryan Jennings (BUSA), Averi Hathcock (Soccer Shots), Emily White (TUSC), Adolfo Lopez (TUSC), Isaac Searcy (TUSC), Matt Manzella (BUSA), Barry Spitzer (Tuscaloosa United SC), Marcos Ugarte (Legion FC), Luke Searcy (TUSC), and Eric Hansen (SYSA). This team of coaches played a crucial role in providing a quality camp.
“When we began planning for camp we projected 30 participants, and ended up with over 90 registered participants,” Rios said. “At the event including walk-ups, we had over 100. As the camp got underway you could see the joy in play from the participants and the energy and enthusiasm from the staff. As Day 1 came to a close you can hear the chatter toward the exit gates: ‘I can’t wait for tomorrow.'”
Even though there are existing programs in Trussville, Springville and Moody, Rios believes having another soccer option in the area can provide something new.
“We want to provide another option that leans more toward player development, even at the youngest ages,” Rios said. “There are a ton of other great programs, we tailor to the lifelong learners of the game. I am extremely passionate about the sport, and feel called to pour that passion into all that participate. TFC will provide quality and attention to detail, specific to its players in the area, which enroll to have fun and learn in a safe and healthy environment. “
Rios specifically thanked the community partners who have already come on board with TFC, and he is actively seeking partnerships that will further secure the club going forward for many years.
“It’ll take the help of the community and the surrounding communities,” Rios said. “Partnering especially with people and local establishments that share the same passion will bring to life what we all envision a quality youth soccer club should be.”
Soccer Nation, an apparel vendor, has jumped on board to help provide quality products for members.
Deerfoot Baptist Church has offered their facility and outreach resources to bring the surrounding communities closer through youth soccer at TFC.
Birmingham Classic Cuts has also contributed to helping host the winter camp this past weekend and future programs this year.
Registration for the upcoming spring season and more detailed information can be found on the club’s website www.tfcalabama.com.