Interview Series

Worlds Apart: Albaraa Alsoufi is Finding Meaning in Heritage

By Sebastian Johnson When Albaraa Alsoufi was 11 years old, he visited the homeland of his parents - Yemen. It wasn’t his first visit to the Middle Eastern nation of 31 million - that would’ve been in 2001 when he was barely a toddler. But it was the first time he was old enough to take notice of the environment around him. “When I arrived in 2011, the civil war had just gotten bad,” recalls the midfielder with new National Independent Soccer ...

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Giancarlo Canas-Jarquin: Flying High with Flower City Union

By S.T. Weller It is a quintessential Los Angeles day sometime around 2004. Sunshine rains down from the sky. Even the ubiquitous L.A. basin smog has abated, making the sky a resplendent blue.  The scene: Whittier Park in Whittier, Calif., 12 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. Parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and spectators young and old, gather along the sidelines of the soccer field. The CASSAL youth soccer league (“Los Angeles Committee of Salvadorian Selection”) is quite a special group. ...

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Alioune Diakhate: A Banner Season with ALBION San Diego 

By Sam Weller Photo by David Frerker 6229 miles is a long way to travel to pursue a dream. But the distance from the west coast of Africa to sunny San Diego, Calif., is all part of the journey that began for Alioune Diakhate when he was a little boy. Sometime between the ages of five and seven years of age, Diakhate, who was born and raised in Dakar, the capital of the Republic of Senegal, discovered soccer, and from that point ...

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