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Twenty-two years ago, Keith Tucker, then head soccer coach at Howard  University, encouraged me to start a community soccer program in Maryland to  promote the importance of education. Through his experience, too many African-  American soccer players were denied admission to not only Howard University, but  other colleges and universities throughout the US because of bad grades and low SAT  scores. Too many students had to forgo partial or full soccer scholarships because of  this growing problem.

I chose Langley Park, Maryland, an immigrant community overflowing with  Central American, Caribbean and various African people, located five minutes from  the University of Maryland, twenty minutes from Howard University and thirty-five  minutes from the White House.

Langley Park, at that time, was a ten minutes from my home in Silver Spring,  Maryland. My interactions and friendships developed during my playing days at  Howard University made it easy for me to integrate into the Caribbean and African  community.

A short list of the friendships from Howard University that gave me valuable  insights into the cultures from our Diaspora follows: Keith Walcott, from Guyana;  Donnie Streete, from Jamaica; Phillip Gyau, from Ghana; Friday Johnson, from  Nigeria; Tony Gill and Ronald Simmons, from Trinidad; Peter Prom, from Gambia;  Wendell Thomas, from Grenada; David Sabair and Shelby Weldon from Bermuda and many others.

These relationships developed through soccer prepared me for the  challenges that lay ahead when we began our program in this predominately  Hispanic community. The equation is still the same. Soccer, or futbol, is a universal  language. It transcends racial boundaries and unites people of different cultures. We  were able to convince Hispanic parents during our earlier years to play soccer for a  non- Hispanic run program. This trend has continued up until today.

Our program, which started as the Langley Park Soccer Club during the spring  of 1998, moved to Buck Lodge Middle School. Two years later we changed our name  to the Metropolitan Futbol Club, more commonly known as MFC, which still thrives  today.

Through our after-school program, run by Soccer and Friends, we have spent  more than two decades promoting and coaching soccer in Prince George's County  schools. Our mission was quite simple “TO CREATE OPPORUNITY THROUGH  EDUCATION AND SOCCER”. Well, we can proudly say “Mission accomplished.” and  ongoing.

As of the Spring of 2020, sixty-nine players have passed through our program  and enrolled in college, of which thirty-three have graduated. Not bad for a program  that charged a meager $170US per season.


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