Building the RedBirds
Cardinals First Official Tryout/Open Play in the Books
Building the Birdhouse Starts with a Solid Foundation as CCFC Tryouts Begin. Photo by: Jacob Moore
Interview by: Jacob Moore
Article by: Jacob Moore
"Life comes at you fast," as the saying goes.
This sentiment is no truer than when applied to the evolution of Fredericksburg, Virginia’s Commonwealth Cardinals Football Club.
An idea that was hatched by owner and coach Gilberto Baez in May of 2021 showed its first signs of real life Saturday at Fredericksburg Field House as CCFC welcomed potential future players from high schools and colleges throughout northern and central Virginia to the club’s first official tryout and open play.
Moved from the previous weekend due to near-freezing temperatures, the warm weather gave the coaching staff the opportunity to get a look at what their squad could end up looking like when they begin USL League Two play against Northern Virginia FC in Leesburg, May 1, a little less than a year after they were nothing more than a concept.
Cardinals Tryout Gives Coaches, Potential Players First-hand Look at What CCFC Might Be. Photo by: Jacob Moore
Athletes participated in workouts and drills and finished by playing a full-field match for roughly 60 minutes.
"You do a lot of back-end work, and this is ultimately what you’re doing all that back-end work for – getting these guys out on the field," said Baez. "Being able to have these boys out here is just another piece of the journey, but this is a huge piece for us."
Baez said one of the most important elements for him, and one that he intends to continue to focus on into CCFC’s inaugural season and beyond, is highlighting local talent.
"For me, local talent is always key, so being able to have these kind of tryouts is fun. These guys get to come out and showcase themselves," he said. "That’s key for me – giving back to the local boys that might not get looks (from other clubs), but have the talent to play at a higher level."
At the end of the day, said Baez, the most impressive thing to him was the number of players that traveled, some from in Fredericksburg but others from an hour or more away, to show that they want to be a part of CCFC.
"They don’t know. It’s a flip of the coin. It could be their best day, it could be there worst day, but they came out. That’s ultimately what I love to see – them chasing what they love to do.“
The Cardinals will be hosting another tryout and open play February 19. Visit www.cardinalsfc.com to register or for more information.