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Mantecan starts web site for used soccer equipment
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Ernesto Farias had taken his wife to San Luis Obispo for their anniversary when he noticed a familiar sight.

A young boy was window shopping for a new pair of soccer cleats with his father, and when he told his dad how much they cost – $130 – his father informed him that he could use that money to buy groceries for the family for two weeks.

And instantly, Farias – a former professional soccer player turned top-tier trainer – was transported back to his childhood days when the thought of owning a new pair of soccer shoes was more of a dream than anything that resembled reality.

“I didn’t have my first new pair of shoes until I was 12 years old,” Farias said. “Before then it was whatever my parents could get for me. That’s the way that it was – playing soccer in the street and dreaming of one day becoming a professional.

“When I saw that boy in San Luis Obispo, I thought to myself – ‘He just might grow up to be a professional soccer player just like I did.’”

Once he got back from the trip, the scene he saw in front of the store kept replaying itself over and over in his mind as he thought of some way that he might be able to give back to the community that has given so much to him as a trainer and a coach for more than 20 years.

So he talked to his wife about starting an on-line clearinghouse for used soccer materials, started dialing up his contacts in the community that might have extra cleats, shoes or equipment, and began assembling his stockpile. was born.

“I knew that we couldn’t open a traditional store because the building and the permits and everything would cost money, so I thought that setting up a website would be the easier way to go,” he said. “It’s still very early in the process, but we’re hoping to have it up and running soon so that we’ll be able to help provide things for kids in the community who need them.”

It’s only natural that his first big score came off of an Internet ad.

When browsing the popular Internet classified site, Farias found a seller that was trying to get rid of goals, cones, balls, shoes, flags and more for only $200. When he contacted the seller and told him what he was trying to do, the seller knocked $25 off the price and tossed in two additional pairs of cleats he knows will get put to good use.

A family in Dublin just recently donated four pairs of soccer shoes as well.

“Seeing so many people support this is amazing, and we’re hoping that it’s only going to grow from this point forward,” Farias said. “We want to provide something for the kids in the community that might not be able to afford the shiny new cleats, but get them something that they can play in and enjoy.”

To make donations to Farias’ cause, you can reach him at (209) 390-3934, or e-mail him at The website,, is under construction and should be up and running in a matter of weeks.