Fresno FC head to playoffs as future of season remains uncertain

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Fresno's professional soccer team, the Fresno Foxes, were headed to the playoffs in just their second season, but it could also mark their final season playing before fired-up Valley fans.

Fresno FC's intention has always been to build a soccer-specific stadium. It is a USL requirement but the franchise has been unable to make any progress on that front.

The players were chasing a championship while their lease at Chukchansi Park was running out.

Focusing on the team's future has been a distraction.

"To be honest it's been very difficult, especially for the second-year head coach, myself, the staff," admitted, head coach Adam Smith. "It's been tough but it's part of football. You can't use it as an excuse."

Coach Smith had his players refocused to ensure the team was mentally and tactically prepared for the playoffs.

Elijah Martin is a home-grown member of Fresno FC.

"I've always dreamt of a professional soccer team in my hometown so now that I get to live it up I take nothing for granted," he said. "I'd if I said there wasn't (uncertainty), but that's not our focus. We're controlling what us players can control."

Fresno fans will get at least one playoff home game on October 26th, and a second one is possible.

The players appreciate the loud crowds at Chukchansi Park. It makes it tough for visiting teams.

"The fans push a lot, they feel the pressure you know. It's hard to play on this field," said Juan Pablo Caffa.

The lease though runs out at the end of the season and the team has been unable to secure a stadium site.

Several options are on the table, including selling the team.

"There's talk about potentially dropping down to league one or there's even talk of moving or going on hiatus. There are all kinds of things out there," Smith said.

Coach Smith and the team couldn't afford to think about any of them right now.

Saturday night the Fresno Foxes play at Orange County with a chance to improve their playoff position. They need to win and Reno needs to lose.
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