By: Daniel Ijigu
Do you have a home field where you practice or play regularly?
Yes, James Finnegan Playground (6801 Grovers Ave., 19142).
What is your team motto?
To be a role model for youth players of the team and impact the community with positive attitude.
What made you interested in participating in the Unity Cup?
I am interested in the Unity Cup because we have a very similar organization called the Ethiopian Sports Federation in North America (ESFNA). Our organization has been established since 1984, and hopefully after participating in the Unity Cup, we can better our recreation center and have a better soccer field.
Can you tell us a bit about the rest of your team?
We started in 1984 in Philadelphia with 15 Ethiopian guys ready to play around and form a positive team that will empower the community. Most of these guys live in the community, go to high school, and some go on to college.
We also participate in ESFNA all year around all over the states. It promotes amateur soccer and cultural events within the Ethiopian community in North America, and holds a week-long soccer tournament every year. Using the soccer tournament as a medium, the organization’s highest aim is to bring Ethiopians together for a multitude of reasons.
What does soccer mean to your community?
It means a lot to my community and neighborhood children– it keeps them out of trouble. Why is soccer important to me personally? I have been playing soccer since I was four years old, so I’ve played amateur and semi pro. Soccer is a stress reliever, and it makes me happy and more involved with the youth, the community.
What places or groups in Philadelphia would you recommend to someone if they wanted to learn more about the culture of the country your team represents?
Abyssinia Restaurant (229 S. 45th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104)
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about your team’s country?
Ethiopia is the home of the Ark of the Covenant. Ethiopia is also rich in history and has a diverse crowd. Ancient Axum is the home of Queen Sheba, and is also known to be one of the wonders of the world. Ethiopia is the hub of Africa.