Freddy Garcia's Life Celebrated
On Saturday, Oct. 22, hundreds of family members and friends attended the dedication ceremony of the Federico "Freddy" Garcia Jr. Field, on the campus of Maple Lawn Elementary in Dallas. The field was built in honor of a highly respected North Texas player who died unexpectedly and for unknown reasons at the age of 24.
"It was a complete shock to everyone. He was training with the FC Dallas reserves and was in great shape. He did not have any known health issues, which made the inconclusive autopsy report even harder to deal with," said Matt Moran, friend and teammate of Freddy.
Shortly after his death, Matt and a few of his Azzurri teammates created the Freddy Fund, whose mission was to build a community-based soccer field for young players in Freddy's neighborhood (near the Dallas Love airport). They partnered with the Dallas Independent School District, FC Dallas and America SCORES Dallas to help garner support for their cause.
With financial contributions coming from many community fundraisers, grants and donations, the Freddy Fund was able to raise the necessary $150,000 in just over a year and a half.
Before his unexpected passing, Bobby Rhine — former FC Dallas teammate and avid supporter for the cause — had this to say about Freddy:
"As a former FC Dallas reserve player, Freddy Garcia embodied the values of this organization. He strongly supported our club and we are proud to contribute to the construction of the field for his community."
Anyone who knew Freddy had nothing but positive things to say about him. As is stated at FreddyFund.com, Freddy was always respectful, original and a fun person to be around. Whether it was with an ear-to-ear smile, a joke, a hug, or one of his many "Freddyisms," he had the unique ability to instantly lift spirits connecting everyone in the room.
"We are very proud of the field that we built for Freddy," Moran says. "Saturday was the culmination of a lot of hard work, and we were all overjoyed to see the family and friends who came out to partake in the day's festivities. With the two-year anniversary of his passing (Nov. 3) upon us, we hope that the North Texas soccer family keep the Garcia family in their thoughts and prayers."
Having had the pleasure of knowing the Garcia family for over 25 years, it was quite an honor to have young Freddy play on the adult teams as he aged and followed in his father's image. His Dad, Freddy Sr,. had joined the Dallas Tornado in 1983 and futbol was in Freddy Jr.'s blood.
As Freddy matured into a young man, he could do just about anything. Freddy was so much a part of the local soccer scene — NTPSA "Azzurri", NTSSA Adult State Team and the FC Dallas Developmental Team. Accordingly, speaking for Freddy's family along with his soccer family and friends, thank you for so many wonderful memories!