CHICAO — A coach with the Chicago Fire junior soccer team was jailed on accusations that he inappropriately touched and groomed three young female players for sex.
In one of the alleged encounters, according to Cook County prosecutors, the coach told the teenage girl that having sex would make her more "flexible" and able while playing soccer and offered his phone number if she ever wanted this.
The coach, Fernando Calderon, 49, remained in Cook County Jail on Sunday a day after he appeared before a judge on felony charges of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and indecent solicitation of a minor, but was scheduled to return to court Tuesday.
Calderon has since been dismissed as a coach, according to a letter from team leadership to parents and staff. The junior team is the official youth club of the professional adult Chicago Fire soccer club.
According to prosecutors, Calderon approached three different young female players on his team between July 2017 and last August. In many of his encounters with the young players, Calderon told them he needed to "manipulate" their bodies, or told them "let me make you happy and play with your body," authorities told a judge.
During the first alleged incident, which occurred during soccer practice at Montrose Beach on the city's North Side in July 2017, Calderon approached the then-14-year-old player and asked if she had a boyfriend, adding that sex would allow her to "do more" while playing soccer, prosecutors said in court Saturday. Calderon said if the victim "ever felt lonely" that he would "do it" for her and entered his telephone number into her phone.
Last July, during a one-on-one training session at Calderon's garage, he touched and rubbed a 16-year-old player under the guise of measuring her chest, prosecutors said.
Around that same time, Calderon was driving another 16-year-old player home from a training session and told her that he needed to massage her and showed her a video on his phone of a woman getting a massage while topless, prosecutors said. Calderon also told the girl he could help her with college but that she needed to "work with him," authorities said.