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MFC Soccer Academy




I Won Five Dollars


I was born in Ethiopia, in a little city called Addis Ababa. When I reached the tender age of 4, I started playing football whereas in America it is called “Soccer”. I was taught growing up with my two big brothers that soccer wasn’t just about your strength and ability to score. 

“Soccer was about your fundamentals and being comfortable with the ball at your feet at all times”. We played soccer with paper balls, tennis balls, and soccer balls. By the time I was 7 years old, I was playing in tournaments, on the streets and pickup games with adults. 

My parents decided to come to America for better educational opportunities for my brothers and me. I was 8 years old when I enrolled in 3rd grade at Thomas Stone ES., in Mt. Rainer, Maryland.  This was the beginning of my educational journey. Both of my older brothers graduated from the county school system and went on to attend Mt. Saint Mary’s. and Salisbury State respectively.   

One day, Dr. Ruth Hodges, the principal, announced that a soccer program would be offered at the school. I quickly returned my permission slip with my parent's signature to the school. I wanted to be a part of this program. Soccer is my love.

The first day of class there were fifteen students in attendance. One student named Elvis Zama, a native of Cameroon would become a teammate of mine at MFC for a period of six years. 

When the coach named Eugene Pascoe arrived, he quickly threw out the balls for everyone to juggle. I played around with the ball and even FAKED like I didn’t know how to juggle. After a while Coach Eugene shouted out loud that “IF ANYONE HERE COULD JUGGLE A SOCCER BALL TO 50 WITHOUT DROPPING IT, WILL RECEIVE $5”. When it was finally my turn to go, I juggled over 80 times and quickly took my $5 with a big smile on my face. 

 Coach Eugene always focused on my school work. I still remember him asking for my report card every quarter.  He also requested copies of my MSA scores just to make sure that I was on grade level or above in Math and Reading.

During my time at MFC, Coach Eugene, Coach Keith and Coach Martin had a tremendous impact on my soccer career and at the same time passed along valuable life lessons. Coach Eugene was the major reason why I joined this club and he had ALWAYS jumped on me about losing the ball.

Coach Keith is a wonderful human being who impacted my every day soccer life. He is the reason why I am still apart of MFC today.  He was the one during summer camp that tested our skills and taught us the basics of soccer.

Last but not least, Coach Martin was there for me at the age of 10 and is still here today, six years later, trying to get me in DC United Youth Academy, and pushing me further in my fitness.  I thank all of the coaches for working with me and for being there for me when I needed you guys the most. Without your assistance, I wouldn’t have progress that far in futbol. Thank you, Coach Eugene, Coach Keith, and Coach Martin. 

Over the years at MFC, I met people from different parts of Central America, the Caribbean, and other parts of Africa. New people, new friends, new languages, and new cultures. Araya Sloan and Jesse Lucero, who I met during summer camp, have been my boys since we were 9 years old. We played for the same club, the same middle school and now the same high school, Northwestern. 

I remembered, while our players changed teams, it was us three that recruited new players and formed new teams. We will be friends for life. MFC forever. 

In closing, I would like to thank my parents for their support, the Lucero and Sloan family for providing transportation over the years to practices and matches, and the whole MFC family, both past and present for being part of my life over the last eight years. Let the journey continue for the next generation.

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