Real Salt Lake midfielder Sebastian Saucedo, a humble star on the rise, warms up on the Rio Tinto pitch.

Get to know our locals. Here, we introduce you one of the fascinating folks who calls the Wasatch Back home: Sebastian "Bofo" Saucedo.

Homegrown Hero, Sebastian Saucedo

Sebastian Saucedo steps onto the pitch at Sandy’s Rio Tinto Stadium, glancing into the lights as 20,000 fans rise to their feet. Less than a decade ago, his turf was the North 40 fields under the PC Hill, and Saucedo was just a boy with a dream.

When you first meet Saucedo, two things strike you: his love of family and his sense of community. A budding Major League Soccer (MLS) star, he remains grounded to the principles his family instilled in him growing up in Park City.
He was a baby when his family moved from California’s San Fernando Valley to Park City, looking for a better opportunity.

“Parents play a big role in kids’ lives,” says Saucedo. “It was different for my family as immigrants. They looked for jobs for a future—not for themselves, but for me.”

Soccer was just getting rolling in Park City. “We didn’t have Willow Creek [fields] yet. Basin Rec would mark the baseball field for soccer with a bunch of little kids running around. It was pretty cool what they did.”

He played rec soccer until he was seven, then moved up to Park City Extreme (now Park City Soccer Club). “It was an opportunity for me to showcase myself at a higher level, moving towards what I wanted to achieve. My parents said, ‘If this is what our son wants, let’s give him the opportunity.’”

At 11, he found his way to La Roca Futbol Club in Salt Lake City. At 15, he moved to the Real Salt Lake Academy in Arizona. “You mature quickly without your parents around,” he explains. Two years later, he signed with RSL. Today, at 22, he’s a regular starter. His proud parents are at Rio Tinto every game. This spring, Bofo, as he’s known to fans, made an MLS “Team of the Week” (the league’s all-stars of the week).

He loves to reminisce about soccer road trips as a kid, starting off with a bacon, egg, and cheese at Wasatch Bagel. Today, he travels the world as a professional athlete. But his heart still lies on the turf of the North 40. 

 

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