The FC Wichita locker room in Dallas was burglarized as the team played in the U.S. Open Cup match on Wednesday.
“These things take a lot of time and money to get replaced,” the group said. “These are amateur and college players. They do not get paid so money is limited for them.”
The group initially set a goal to raise $5,000 for the team, which was increased to $20,000 later Thursday. The GoFundMe can be found here: gofundme.com/fc-wichita-needs-your-help
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Larry Inlow, director of soccer operations for FC Wichita, said it almost looked like the burglars "took their time in going through everything they wanted to."
"It’s really devastating," he said. "Emotions are already high because of the game itself and then to go and find that. It’s difficult not to take it as a personal attack that your own items were taken in an environment that you thought would be secure."
Inlow said the door to the locker room had been locked, but wouldn't comment further because of the ongoing investigation.
Richland College, the site of the game, confirmed the theft, but declined to send the police report to The Eagle.
Players affected by the theft are working to get new identification, with many having already returned to their home states to do so, Inlow said. Others are having to contact immigration lawyers to get documents replaced.
Speaking about the monetary loss, Inlow said having to travel and replace documents at the state and federal level is time consuming and costly. A number of the players have to replace their cellphones as well, he said.
"You get into their wallet, they're paying for their gas, they're paying for life in general and now all of that has had to come to a screeching halt because they don't have those things," he said. "It's very difficult for them and very difficult for us all to see."
On its website, FC Wichita said they “fought to the bitter end, putting shots on goal right before the final whistles sounded. FC Wichita, climbed out of a 2-0 halftime deficit did it with heart and determination.”
"The guys had to deal with the emotions of the game," Inlow said. "They're professionals, they give their heart and soul to that, so when they walk off the field, that means something to them."