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A decade of work pays off for Ruvalcaba, Barracudas

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Posted: Wednesday, May 21, 2014 11:45 pm

One man’s dream has become a reality.

When the Brownsville Barracudas FC recently announced the move to the Major Arena Soccer League beginning in the fall, it was an announcement that was a long time coming for Barracudas owner Oscar Ruvalcaba.

“This started as a dream about 12 years ago. (I saw that) we needed more soccer fields in the community,” he said. About 10 years ago, in my mind, I wanted to bring a professional team to Brownsville.

“And today it’s a reality.”

The journey began in 2001, and by 2004 the Barracudas FC Sports Complex was built and began playing host to several games per week. Now some early parts of construction have already begun and, within a couple months, will be in full building mode. The new open-air stadium is slated to be finished in time for the new season to begin in late October.

Barracudas general manager Ricardo Rodriguez said the new field and stadium will be similar to the open-air arena in Mexico. The league requires seating for at least 2,000 people.

The Barracudas have played at an amateur level since 2004, and now nearly 200 teams play in 7-on-7 contests at the complex on a weekly basis.

“There’s a base of the team, but we are going to be looking for other players,” Rodriguez said. “I think it’s a great opportunity for local players (in the Valley and Mexico). There is a lot of talent.”

The Barracudas will hold open tryouts for players aged 16 to 30 on May 29 and 30.

Rodriguez shared a similar sentiment with Ruvalcaba.

“This has been a goal all along for the Barracudas to go to the next level,” Rodriguez said. “That was the No. 1 goal when the project was started. Now that dream has come true.”

Now the Barracudas hope to bring in a coach they’ve had their eye on. Rodriguez said he hopes to make it official within the next few weeks.

Now one decade after his team’s creation, Ruvalcaba is happy to give Brownsville its first professional arena soccer team.

“We’ve been working so hard for this,” he said. “I feel so good to bring some spectacular soccer to Brownsville. I’m not excited for me. I’m excited for the community.

“Brownsville deserves something better.”

Andrew Crum covers sports for The Brownsville Herald. You can reach him at (956) 982-6629 or via email at acrum@brownsvilleherald.com. On Twitter, he’s @andrewmcrum.

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