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updated: 10/2/2012 9:11 PM

Soul set to provide indoor kicks

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  • Chicago Soul coach Manuel Rojas addresses the media at a news conference Thursday in Schaumburg. The Soul plays its inaugural indoor soccer home game Dec. 7 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

       Chicago Soul coach Manuel Rojas addresses the media at a news conference Thursday in Schaumburg. The Soul plays its inaugural indoor soccer home game Dec. 7 at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Chicago Soul cheerleader Jackie Sheppard, 23, of Orland Park was introduced at a news conference at Game Works in Schaumburg on Tuesday along with the player for their home opener on December 7th playing at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

       Chicago Soul cheerleader Jackie Sheppard, 23, of Orland Park was introduced at a news conference at Game Works in Schaumburg on Tuesday along with the player for their home opener on December 7th playing at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Head coach of the Chicago Soul soccer team Manuel Rojas speaks with Carpentersville's Christian Meza at a news conference at Game Works in Schaumburg on Tuesday in which the players were introduced for their home opener Dec. 7th at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

       Head coach of the Chicago Soul soccer team Manuel Rojas speaks with Carpentersville's Christian Meza at a news conference at Game Works in Schaumburg on Tuesday in which the players were introduced for their home opener Dec. 7th at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • Head coach of the Chicago Soul soccer team Manuel Rojas (center) with the 2012-13 Chicago Soul soccer team at a news conference at Game Works in Schaumburg on Tuesday in which the players were introduced for their home opener on December 7th playing at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.

       Head coach of the Chicago Soul soccer team Manuel Rojas (center) with the 2012-13 Chicago Soul soccer team at a news conference at Game Works in Schaumburg on Tuesday in which the players were introduced for their home opener on December 7th playing at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 

It's a good thing David Mokry doesn't need much sleep.

Mokry hasn't gotten much sleep over the past few months, working overtime toward Tuesday's introductory news conference for the Chicago Soul, the latest indoor soccer franchise to test the Chicago market.

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"I just got back from Kansas City the other day," the Soul owner/president said of the Major Indoor Soccer League player combine. "I think I've slept a few hours here and there getting ready for this. As soon as I'm done here I leave to another meeting. So it's been nonstop, and it's going to be nonstop to develop what we want to here, but it's nice. What we're developing we're going to be able to take a lot of pride in."

Coach Manuel Rojas and his players have a match Nov. 2 at the Syracuse Silver Knights, the start of a seven-game, season-opening road trip. The Soul's home schedule begins Dec. 7 and runs through March 1. All home matches are at the Sears Centre in Hoffman Estates, where parking for games will be free and capacity is 9,400.

"I think it can be filled," Mokry said. "We're reaching out to the community in many different ways. It's not going to be easy, on the grassroots, even on the soccer side. We're not going to have games on Sunday, we're not saying we'll compete with the Bears."

The Hoffman Estates resident said he has studied successful MISL franchises in Milwaukee and Baltimore to learn what the Soul needs to do to survive and thrive where other teams have failed.

"I think this one is going to stick around because of the group doing it together," Mokry said.

"Not only are we going to put a product on the field that's going to be successful, but the way we're going to work to get people there."

Mokry believes the MISL's Soul can benefit Major League Soccer's outdoor franchise in Chicago, the Fire.

"We see that as a complement," said Mokry, a Fire fan. "We don't play when they're playing. It's kind of like we'll keep the excitement for soccer warm for them during the winter. I'll be back there with my tickets watching them next year."

In addition to Rojas, a former Chicago Sting player, Mokry has brought in Rojas' former coach with the Sting, Chicago soccer legend Willy Roy, to act as an advisor.

"I'm speechless when I can say that Willy Roy is going to be a part of something I'm doing," Mokry said. "It's kind of an 'I'm not worthy' kind of thing."

Mokry will be worthy if he can build a successful franchise from scratch.

"To bring a championship to Chicago on the professional side of things is what I'm really looking at doing," he said. "I won't sleep till I make sure we get people there in the stands to watch it."

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