At Webster University, the Socceroos are not to be confused with the Australian National football team. Instead, it is another name for The Webster International Soccer Club.
The club began in 2011. Webster students play soccer under indoor rules in the Grant Gymnasium. There are five to six players per team and they play five-minute shifts.
The Socceroos consist of 70 students from 15 different countries.
Senior Fidel Corrales Jimenez started playing in 2012 and was named president of the club in 2015.
Jimenez said the roster gives the group a unique feel.
“That’s one of the amazing things here. You find people from anywhere in Africa, anywhere in Latin America, anywhere in Europe. It’s like a family,” Jimenez said. “You meet new people. It’s a good way to make connections. It’s amazing.”
Growing up in Cuba, Jimenez said his favorite sport to watch was baseball because it is the country’s national sport, but he chose to play soccer because it is more active.
Jimenez uses the club as his form of exercise so he can stay in shape.
“I don’t like to go to a gym. I think it is kind of boring,” Jimenez said. “Playing here is fun; it’s a way to exercise. This is my weekly exercise, basically. I feel better when I play and it’s fun too. It’s awesome.”
Other participants also use the club as a social activity and a way to release stress after school.
“I think sports is probably the best [way] to socialize anywhere. It’s a good way to make friends. It’s a good way to make relationships, establish relationships, especially during the school year,” Jimenez said. “You’re kind of depressed with school, or the work. You come here and you release the stress. You make friends. You meet people that you have never met before. It’s a good way to basically connect.”
Junior player Idol Mitchell said his favorite thing about the club is the interaction between players from different countries.
“It’s all good fun,” Mitchell said. “I try to understand what they are saying, their culture, how they react.”
Current club president Vasif Durarbayli says all students are welcome to come and play. All new players are added to the Facebook page so they can receive updates to when the club plays.