Soccer Pride in Vermont

Ghanaian makes friends and the newspaper

Soccer has been my favorite sport since childhood. The reason people love watching soccer is because of the passion, pride, and affection fans and players feel for their soccer teams. Soccer releases endorphins that improve your mood, and exercising and playing soccer regularly also reduces stress and boosts players' self-confidence and self-esteem.

Soccer is a game played on a field between two teams of 11 players each with the object to propel a ball into the opponent's goal by kicking or by hitting it with any part of the body except the hands and arms. We call it football in Ghana. “What sports are you interested in for high school?” My host Dad asked me this question before I arrived in the U.S., and I replied “football”—not knowing it is a different sport. He said, “Hey Abass, football is different here, we call it soccer,” and I was very amazed.

Playing soccer at my host high school has been a pleasure. All the soccer players being my friends and helping our team to grow with every game is a good thing. I was in the newspaper when I made my first assist for the team.

—Mohammed Abass (YES, Ghana), hosted by the Wood-McNaughton family (VT)

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