Growing The Beautiful Game at San Quentin State Prison

Marc Dos Santos reflects on his first training session inside the yard at San Quentin

The San Francisco Deltas staff and San Quentin soccer players went through their first session on June 27, 2017.

The San Francisco Deltas will be making trips to San Quentin State Prison to provide coaching clinics and play games with inmates. Head coach Marc Dos Santos, players and staff visited the prison for the first time on June 27, 2017. Following each visit, members of the Deltas will give an inside look on the impact the visits had on them. (Photos courtesy of San Quentin State Prison)

I have experienced many different situations in many different countries. Soccer has given me the opportunity to travel and meet a lot of different people. I always believed that we need to do more with the position that has been given to us. We shouldn’t be in professional sports only to perform. This is a fantastic platform and we should use it to give back to others.

Last Tuesday, some players, some members of our coaching staff and I had the opportunity to coach two teams in the San Quentin State Prison. This was a new experience for all of us! I’ve done many training sessions in my career. In different fields, with different players and in different countries, but I was missing a training session in a prison yard…

Midfielder Cristian Portilla looks on as the “Old Guys” take on the “Young Guys”.

When we first arrived, we didn’t really know what to expect and I think we were all a little bit apprehensive, but from the first step that we took in that yard, we just tried to do what we always do. We focused on giving our very best and coaching players. I was very surprised by the willingness of everyone to learn and give their very best and, suddenly, I totally forgot where I was.

Head Coach Marc Dos Santos and Director of Soccer Operations Todd Dunivant take the San Quentin players through drills.

Suddenly, I was just on a field coaching players, and that was the only thing in my mind. I didn’t know what their background was and it wasn’t important, in that moment. The only thing that we all cared about was to give the best of us during the time that we were on the field.

I have to say that I was extremely surprised by the commitment of everyone during the game. I was blessed to coach a game that was played with such passion and intensity.

SF Deltas midfielders Cristian Portilla and Tyler Gibson.

In the middle of pro sports, we tend to become selfish and live in our little bubbles, but we were not created for that. We were created to give the very best of us at every moment and use the platform that was given to us to impact other lives.

We all had a great time and there is no doubt that we will coach there again!

Assistant coach Andrea Di Pietrantonio and SF Deltas midfielders Tyler Gibson and Cristian Portilla pose with the “Young Guys”.
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The SF Deltas are a new professional men’s soccer team that will play home games at Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park. Our first game will be against the San Jose Earthquakes in February 2017. Reserve Season Tickets for our Inaugural Season: sfdeltas.com/tickets

San Francisco Deltas

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sfdeltas

The SF Deltas are a new professional men’s soccer team that will play home games at Kezar Stadium in Golden Gate Park. Our first game will be against the San Jose Earthquakes in February 2017. Reserve Season Tickets for our Inaugural Season: sfdeltas.com/tickets