Soccer, or more globally, football, has long been the world’s most popular sport. In recent years, the game has been adapted to different settings like beaches and hardwood gymnasiums for competitive play and international tournaments.
Indoor soccer was one of the first variations to reach wider public attention. Played on an artificial turf field surrounded by the same boards as a hockey rink, the game in some ways resembles the one played on ice.
“The indoor game is more of play like a hockey style, up and down, up and down game, shifts and quick play, quick combinations and just get a lot of shots off,” says Denzel Pettigrew. Pettigrew is the manager, owner, and coach of Brew City Legends, a Milwaukee-area team succeeding in the sport. The team hosts home games at the Uilehn Soccer Complex in Milwaukee.
In their inaugural 2018-2019 season, the Legends won their division in the Premier Arena Soccer League against teams from Chicago, Detroit and Cincinnati. They intend to repeat in the new season.
“So there is a big statement to make this year,” says goalkeeper Agustin Rey adding that Coach Pettigrew is the man to lead them. “You couldn’t ask for more genuine guy. He wants to win. And yeah, the guys feed off of that.”
Midfielder James Weber agrees, noting how many roles Pettigrew takes on for the team: “It’s definitely very impressive to see someone, especially just one person, do that on his own.”
Pettigrew is the first African American owner of an indoor soccer team and takes a good deal of pride in the diverse team he’s assembled. “We have all different type of nationalities on this team. And I like it that way.” Pettigrew adds, “It’s a family. It’s a brotherhood here. We all get along and they all play for each other.”