Varsity soccer player Leul Mesfin takes his skills out of the country

Rushing+towards+the+ball%2C+senior+Leul+Mesfin+blocks+a+Westminster+player+from+taking+the+ball.+

Felix Gonzales

Rushing towards the ball, senior Leul Mesfin blocks a Westminster player from taking the ball.

While other varsity soccer players are focusing on college, senior Leul Mesfin is taking extra classes and working to graduate early. Mesfin was offered the opportunity to play for the Chievo Verona academy team.

“I got this offer from a club team in Italy. I spent last summer in London playing soccer, and after that, a lot of people got my contact information. So then this club was talking to me, and they [said] I could come to Italy next semester,” Mesfin said. “They offered the full year, but I could only do the one semester. They said I could play soccer and that it would be like a trial for the team. It’s a huge way to develop.”

Mesfin says that he is not the best player and that there are definitely better players out there, so he was surprised when he was given the opportunity to travel to London and play with West Ham.

“They hold camps around North America to find players, so I attended one of those, and they liked me so they invited me to their national camp, which was the best players from the camps. From there they chose about three kids to come to London, to play with West Ham and try to work with them,” Mesfin said.

He is motivated by his childhood dreams of pursuing soccer as a career, but is nervous about such a big opportunity.

I find it nerve racking because every child dreams of something like this happening to them,”

— Leul Mesfin

“It’s really scary. It’s a really big deal. I was never expecting to be invited there. It was only offered because someone saw me in London,” Mesfin said. “I find it nerve racking because every child dreams of something like this happening to them, and then when it actually does it’s like…oh God.”

In terms of his future after soccer, he has yet to decide what he wants to do.

“I have not decided where I want to go to college, but I have gotten a lot of emails and offers. I’ve also gotten invited to camps to get scouted by the schools, but I’ve been putting it off because college is stressful,” Mesfin said.

Despite the high stakes and constant pressure, Mesfin says he has never, and would never, consider quitting soccer.

“You don’t know who I truly am without the soccer part. So if I were to ever quit, it would be taking a part of me away. I play because I love it. I love it a lot. It’s my passion, and I look forward to doing it every day,” Mesfin said.