Fresno Football ClubApr 26, 2018 11:00AM ● By Enjoy Magazine
By Natalie Caudle
Photos by Kiel Maddox
THE CENTRAL VALLEY has long hungered for the lively presence of professional sports teams. Soccer has finally made its way into the spotlight with the Fresno Football Club, thanks to the dream and efforts of owner Ray Beshoff.
Beshoff developed a love for soccer while growing up in England. He moved to the United States in the early 1980s and traded in his soccer cleats for a suit and tie. Having climbed the ladder of business success, Beshoff was finally able to bring his dream to fruition with the creation of the Fresno Football Club (Fresno FC). The premier season of the long-awaited team has brought fans out to Chukchansi Park with great enthusiasm.
Beshoff’s longtime friend, General Manager Frank Yallop, excited to have built the franchise from scratch, says the Fresno FC was “built for Fresno. It’s important for people to hear that. The team will be here forever. It’s all geared toward the fans.” The Fresno FC Foxes have included Fresno’s flag in their crest and have chosen the logo and team colors to reflect the region and fans.
The Fresno FC has been built on the foundation of hard work. Yallop, a longtime player and coach, gleaned his work ethic from his father, a man who worked three jobs to provide for his family. Yallop began playing professionally at age 16 and contributes his successful career to his unwavering commitment to the sport. “Hard work gets you a long way. The proof is in the pudding. Don’t give up. I can’t win every game, but I sure tried my best and that’s OK.” Yallop is aiming to make this franchise the best in the league through the talents and efforts of the coaches and athletes, but says the fan base is Fresno FC’s greatest strength.
As is the case in most successful teams, the values of the coaches are mirrored in those of the athletes. Jose Cuevas, attacking midfielder and better known by his fans as “Chiva,” also believes in the secret recipe of hard work and amazing fans. Beginning at age 5, Cuevas played street ball and fell in love with the game. His grandparents recognized his talent and supported his soccer efforts financially and emotionally. Thankful for the wisdom and drive of his grandparents, Cuevas played four years of varsity ball at Farmersville High and found inspiration and great support in his high school coach, Michael Jordan. “He was always pushing me to the next level,” Cuevas remembers. “He does that with all the kids.”
After high school, Cuevas moved to Mexico but later returned to the States and played for the Fresno Fuego. He is excited to be a part of Fresno FC and loves the loud and rowdy fans. Notwithstanding that the “the fans are amazing here,” Cuevas’ grandmother passed away in 2013, but his grandfather continues to spur him on and pushes him toward success. Having come from a small town, Cuevas hopes that young athletes find inspiration in his story. “If you really want to play pro ball, it doesn’t matter where you come from,” he says. “There’s no excuse if you really put your mind to it.”
Saturday nights in downtown Fresno will be anything but calm now that the Foxes are in town. As cheers and yells spill out of the stadium, fans will know that Fresno FC is tailor-made for the Valley, a team clad in blue jerseys representing the vitality and potential of the San Joaquin region: a team brimming with talent and tenacity. •
Fresno Football Club • 1800 Tulare St., Fresno
(559) 320-2525 • www.fresnofc.com
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