Professional Ukrainian soccer coach now with amateur team in Chicago after fleeing war

A Ukrainian soccer coach who escaped his country in the midst of war is celebrating his new life in Chicago.  

Just nine months ago, he and his family were forced to leave their hometown, as Russian tanks moved in. 

"We afraid for all the people who stay in Ukraine," said Andriy Berezovchuk.  


On Sunday night, Berezovchuk was on the sidelines, leading a young amateur soccer team, the Edgewater Castle FC, in their first championship title game.  

In February, he was coaching a professional team in Ukraine, just two miles from the Russian border. Then, the war began.  

"It was a couple hours for decision to move and we drive about 14 hours," he said.  

He, his wife and their three children packed three small bags and drove to Poland. From there, they moved to Germany and then the U.S.   

"We afraid for all our people to who stay in Ukraine.  Nobody knows what will be today, tomorrow on in one hour."  

In a twist of fate, he was introduced to the Edgewater Castle Football Club. They needed a coach. He was beyond qualified for the job.

"I'm so happy here. I get a chance, this is what I like and this is what I came to do in my life," he said.  

Berezovchuk led the team this season to the top of the National Soccer League standings. They faced off against AFC Roscoe Village Sunday and lost on a missed penalty kick in the final second of the match. Not the ending the team had hoped for, but what they view as the start to a bright future, with Coach Berezovchuk leading the way.