International Soccer Match Idea Born in Honduras – Decatur Police River City Cup


Decatur Police River City Cup

Michael Kitchens and Jonathan Macklin are members of the Decatur Police Department’s Anti-Crime Unit. They’re more than just partners on the job, they’re related, by marriage. So this summer, both families went on vacation together and to Central America, where they ventured into portions of Honduras tourists are warned to stay away from.

In Honduras kids grow up playing soccer at  the young age of "just born" :-) Soccer is a way of life in Honduras and our soccer players start without shoes in fields where ever they can find space. They Grow up dreaming to play in a stadium and The Honduras Sub 17 is a gateway along with the Honduras Sub 21 and the  Honduras National Soccer Major League Team to fame and Fortune. Many USA MLS Stars and European Champions League depend on Honduras Soccer Players.

In Honduras kids grow up playing soccer at the young age of “just born” :-) Soccer is a way of life in Honduras and our soccer players start without shoes in fields where ever they can find space. They Grow up dreaming to play in a stadium and The Honduras Sub 17 is a gateway along with the Honduras Sub 21 and the Honduras National Soccer Major League Team to fame and Fortune. Many USA MLS Stars and European Champions League depend on Honduras Soccer Players.

“And we paid a cab driver, we paid him a good amount of money to take us to the Honduras, to the real Honduras. And at first he didn’t want to do it. You know, we had a guide with us and he finally gave in and was like, look, I’m going to take y’all to a place but y’all stay together,” Macklin explained.

They say they wound up in a ghetto where they saw the real dangers of the area, but they also saw something more.

“And there was a lot of children and one of the things they loved doing was soccer, and us getting to watch them play soccer, and thinking how something like that could be a joy for so many,” Kitchens said.

It was from that experience the idea of an international soccer tournament was born. The police department formed their own team, and then Kitchens and Macklin set out to find sponsors for the event. Next month, Decatur will host a number of teams from across the area and across the equator. And the simple goal behind the idea is to bridge the gap, and bring people together.

“This is what being a police officer is all about. It’s about, first, serving your community, protecting those that need to be protected. But we serve everybody, all nationalities here in this city,” Macklin says.

To protect and serve, no matter their nationality.


The Decatur Police River City Cup is scheduled for October 2nd, 3rd & 4th at the Jack Allen Recreational Complex. That’s on Modaus Road in Decatur. In addition to the games, there are a lot of family activities planned. And admission is free.

SOURCE: WHNT News 19 - Decatur

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