Interview Series

Jedidiah McCloud Brings Hope and Inspiration to All Athletes Who Contend with Mental Health Issues

By S.T. Weller In the sports world, heroes don’t just happen on the field. Sometimes, it’s what our greatest sports inspirations do off the field, away from the court, off the ice and away from the roar of the crowd that make them truly heroic. May is mental health month, and Gold Star FC Detroit’s newest addition—midfielder Jedidiah McCloud—is speaking openly about his own longtime struggle with depression, Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and emetophobia, a very rare, but extreme fear of vomiting. At just ...

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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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