What is your name and home field location?
Jason Waylee. We play at Myers Recreation Center.
What is your connection to Liberia?
I was born in Grand Gedeh county in Liberia and came to Philadelphia in 1991.
What made you interested in participating in the Unity Cup?
I love soccer — I grew up playing and coaching kids — and I wanted to represent Liberia.
What was your favorite moment from last year’s tournament?
Meeting people from different countries and different cultures.
How did your team come together?
Some knew each other from Liberia, and kids who come here contact me looking to play.
What does soccer mean to your community?
It means freedom. It’s a huge thing, because where we are from everyone is in love with soccer. We don’t have many other sports that are big. We are able to get our kids out of the streets and with friends, having fun, which is very important to me.
Why do you think soccer is so popular around the world?
I think soccer is so popular around the world because in many countries, all they know is soccer, so of course it is going to be the number one in the world.
How do you think soccer in general (and the Unity Cup in particular) promotes inclusivity?
The Unity Cup gives us opportunities to speak for the country. It has brought unity to many different cultures and it brings people together. Without the Unity Cup, this wouldn’t be possible. I’m glad the mayor and the city have this tournament.
What places (such as restaurants or cultural centers) or groups in Philadelphia would you recommend to someone if they wanted to learn more about Liberian culture?
In Southwest Philly, I recommend Angie’s Kitchen (618 S 52nd St) and the 5500 to 7700 blocks of Woodland Avenue, which include Le Mandinque (6600 block), Baobab (5300 block), African Small Pot (6500 block), and Kings and Queens African Cuisine (4800 block).
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about Liberia?
We are very friendly people, and we like to help.