By Jeff Helfrich/NPSL.com
In early July, Damon Gochneaur was walking near his work and noticed an empty storefront.
The co-owner and co-founder of Denton Diablos FC called the landlord that day and signed the
lease two days later. Now, the club is opening a team shop, putting down roots after being
established less than three years ago.
“Most teams on our level all the way up to USL don’t own facilities or have a permanent place,”
Gochneaur said. “They rent fields and practice facilities. I always felt there was a need for
permanence. That’s where they can find us. When you have a physical location, so much can
come from that.”
The shop will be located on the town square, which has become a hotbed in the community for
foot traffic. Gochneaur and co-owner and co-founder Michael Hitchcock have always wanted a
team store where people can get acquainted with the team.
Events outside of games can be held at the shop. Diablos FC’s NPSL season doesn’t last more
than a few months, so the shop will be used for additional interaction with fans.
“We’re having private openings for season ticket holders and past online customers,” Gochneaur
said. “We’ll let them come in and look around and talk with us. We start that on Oct. 13. We’ll
open normally when the pandemic allows. We want to talk with the private shoppers and get
While spending time in Europe recently, Gochneaur noticed club shops all over the place. He
knew it was something he wanted for Diablos FC.
Gochneaur has seen clubs use their shops as a hub for donations, which he’d like to do. Diablos
FC recently qualified for the U.S. Open Cup but was unable to play due to the COVID-19
pandemic. It also recently established a second club, Estudiantes. Gochneaur called the club’s
“I’m 41,” Gochneaur said. “I’ve started and failed many things. 95 percent of people in similar
positions want to play in the Open Cup and build their club to go pro. A small stop on that
journey is opening your own team shop. We’re growing.”
Photo Credit: Christian Oseguera