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Professional footballer returns to Park City to help with family youth club

Sebastian Saucedo (right) and his father Martin at the North 40 fields in Park City.
Parker Malatesta
Sebastian Saucedo (right) and his father Martin at the North 40 fields in Park City.

A former Park City soccer star who now plays in the top Mexican league returned to his home training ground at the North 40 fields Thursday.

27-year-old Sebastian Saucedo was one of the first players ever recruited to Real Salt Lake’s youth academy.

He grew up in the Park City area and now plays for FC Juárez in Liga MX, the top professional football division in Mexico.

Saucedo credits his success to his consistent training throughout his youth. He often practiced at North 40 and other fields in the area. In the winter he was always at the Basin Rec Fieldhouse.

In 2019 Sebastian’s father Martin started Saucedo Futbol Club, which began with just three players. The pandemic slowed progress, but Martin said the youth club is growing fast now.

“We have three teams here in Park City and we are really close to making another team of younger kids,” Martin Saucedo said. “Our expectation is to help these kids in soccer. We’ve lived here in Park City for almost 27 years, and I know they need somebody and I know we can help.”

Sebastian talked and trained with players at the North 40 fields Thursday.

“Back in the day it was you’d just see Olympic athletes come out of Park City, and I was that one lucky kid that all of sudden made it out to pursue my dream,” Sebastian said. “I watch these kids and I wish I could just be a kid again… It’s such a good feeling to come back home and really see what my dad’s building, what I’m building with him.” 

The Saucedos want the club’s players to focus on technique, consistency, and academics.

“It’s pretty awesome to know that a professional player is out on the field with you,” said 11-year-old Ben Naylor, who plays striker for the club. “I’d love to learn a bunch of tricks from him and a bunch of tips to help me get better. I’d like to get a more harder shot and to be faster.”

The club is hosting tryouts later this month. More information can be found here.

Sebastian said playing for FC Juárez just across the border from El Paso, Texas has allowed him to live stateside with his wife.

He said in the near future he’d love an opportunity to play for Real Salt Lake again, so he could retire where he grew up and started his career.