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Santos explores new territory in successful visit to Charlotte

11 de Septiembre del 2018 4:19 pm.

During the most recent international break, the first team of Santos Laguna traveled to new territorry in the United States: Charlotte, North Carolina, to play a friendly match against local USL team Charlotte Independence.

During their visit to one of the fastest-growing cities in the USA, los Guerreros successfully held their 22nd social activity across the border since 2015 under the club's charitable initiative Guerreros de Corazón. Assistant coaches Rafa Figueroa and Juan Pablo "Chato" Rodriguez were joined by players Alberto Ocejo and Edwuin Cetre the morning before their game in a special visit to Camino Community Center, where they were met by Charlotte Independence players and executives for a tour and meet-and-greet with local fans.

Camino Community Center serves many people in the area with limited resources. There's a kitchen that serves the homeless, a thrift store for shopping convenience, a gymnasium, and a health and wellness clinic that provides everything from routine exams to sugeries and treatments for cancer for those who cannot afford insurance and medical costs.

The group spent the better part of two hours touring the facility, an experience they shared with fans, to better understand the purpose and general operation of US-based facilities of its nature. They met and learned the story of Yelitza Castro, an immigrant and single mother from Venezuela, who arrived at Camino Community Center in 2001 where she found help when she had no where else to go.

Since 2010, Yelitza has been “paying it forward” by preparing home-cooked meals for the homeless community of Charlotte. She and her family serve at least 500 people each month in the Uptown area. Her son, Alex, serves alongside his mother every other Saturday, and while other kids are playing with their friends, Alex is making new ones and giving hope to the local homeless community.

During halftime at their game later that afternoon, the Charlotte Independence offered Santos Laguna the opportunity to take part in a halftime recognition of Yelitza and Alex to thank them for their work in the community. Santos Commercial and Marketing Director Jorge Fernandez gave her a team-signed jersey and club-branded soccer ball to Alex, to thank them for their example which falls in line with that of the club's philosophy: Winning by Serving is the Only Option. 

Los Guerreros walked away with a 3-0 victory over the local team, with goals by Osvaldo Martinez, Ulises Rivas, and Edwuin Cetre, though what the club really gained from the trip to the East coast was a new experience to leave its philosphy in new international territorry, forging new relationships and friendships in the process. 

at Camino Community Center in the local hispanic community, where they came together with players from rival-team Charlotte Independence in a special visit