"The power of soccer is that it brings people together."
That's the idea behind Soccer Without Borders, a program for refugees created by Ben Gucciardi as an educational tool.
"I was a soccer player my whole life and had a lot of really good experiences and then also some kind of frustrating experiences as far as things that teammates would make homophobic or racist comments and sometimes that stuff wouldn't get talked about and so I was interested in kind of using the power of soccer to also then kind of bring in some educational elements where you can talk about things that don't get talked about."
But the program does more than get teenagers talking. It provides a safe haven and a place to grow.
"When they come, there's a lot of challenges as far as they don't have a positive community to be a part of. Most of them are living in fairly dangerous neighborhoods, they don't have a lot of good influences outside of school so having something after school where they can come and be a part of something positive, connect with their friends, with adults that care about them and kind of getting some encouragement to help them build confidence is sort of what it's all about."
"It takes me away from trouble and yeah gives me a lot of friends from all around the world," said Jackson Donald.
Carlos Flores added, "I can make new friends with my teammates that maybe I couldn't make friends with him before if they are in school."
And for these international teens the sport of soccer provided the perfect bond.
"When you look at what's the power of soccer it's that it has this appeal, and people wanna...especially this community. Internationally it is so popular so people want to come. There's been moments when I've seen guys from totally different backgrounds hugging or just getting so excited when someone scores or makes a good play. They want to be together, and they all will play together no matter what."