A youth coach with the Chicago Fire junior soccer team is in Cook County Jail on charges he allegedly touched inappropriately three teenage female players and groomed them for sex.
The Cook County State’s Attorney’s office charged Fernando Calderon, 49, of Chicago, with aggravated criminal sexual abuse and indecent solicitation of a child.
Calderon, who was arrested last Thursday, appeared in court on Saturday where bail was set at $30,000.
He’s ordered not to have any contact with the any of the victims or their families, and have no contact with anyone under 18.
The Fire Juniors is the official youth soccer program of the Bridgeview-based Chicago Fire of Major League Soccer.
The Fire Juniors consists of 11 clubs and 16,000 players in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Kentucky, Louisiana and Florida.
Its Illinois teams are in Chicago, Evanston, Plainfield, Orland Park and Bloomington-Normal.
According to Chicago police, Calderon asked one of the teenage victims to attended “one-on-one” sex practice in a garage in a home near the Kelvyn Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side.
That’s where Calderon allegedly abused the teen, according to police.
Paul Cadwell, president of the Chicago Fire Juniors City, says when it became aware of the allegations against Calderon, the organization took immediate action.
“The coach was suspended and ordered to stay away from our players, staff and facilities. All proper authorities were informed and the parents of our players were notified about the situation. We have since dismissed the coach,” Cadwell said in a written statement.
“We have always maintained strict personnel safeguards including rigorous background checks, safe sport training, implementation of a code of conduct and guidelines governing interactions with minors,” Cadwell added. “Nevertheless, we will ‘re-examine’ our policies, practices and training to ensure we are fostering a positive and safe environment for every young player throughout our system.”
Calderson’s next court appearance is set for Tuesday at noon at 26th and California.