What is your name and home field location?
Virginijus (Virgis) Anusauskus. Our home fields are Horsham area fields.
What is your connection to Lithuania?
I was born and raised in Lithuania, but have been living in the US for 16 years.
What made you interested in participating in the Unity Cup?
I thought it would be a very good event for our community. It’s good for everyone to get together, even if you are a good or bad player.
What was your favorite moment from last year’s tournament?
To meet other teams and people and to learn their culture.
How did your team come together?
Word of mouth and social media. The Lithuanian community is scattered, but everyone still talks.
Can you tell us a bit about the rest of your team?
All of our team players have Lithuanian background and we all enjoy playing soccer together.
What does soccer mean to your community?
It’s the event which brings players and their families together to enjoy time together.
Why is soccer important to you personally?
All my life I’ve played soccer for the youth national team and the Lithuanian Olympic team, and also professional soccer in Lithuania and Germany.
How has soccer made your life better?
It teaches you to respect other opponents and also teaches you how to win and lose. The game of life is a lot like soccer. You have to tackle your fears, and score your goals when you get the opportunity.
Why do you think soccer is so popular around the world?
It is an affordable game. You need a ball and two posts, and that’s it. It’s extremely accessible for all people all over the world.
How do you think soccer in general (and the Unity Cup in particular) promotes inclusivity?
Soccer unites people and brings them together with different backgrounds but with the same passion: “soccer.” No matter what race or religion, soccer is one thing the world can agree on.
What places (such as restaurants or cultural centers) or groups in Philadelphia would you recommend to someone if they wanted to learn more about Lithuanian culture?
Church events would be the best place. The best way to experience Lithuanian culture would be to experience it firsthand, and this is the center of Philadelphia’s Lithuanian community.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about Lithuania?
Lithuania is a country that’s easy to love. It has been through some amazing history, and quite a few interesting places and traditions have survived until our times. Lithuanian is one of the oldest languages in the world today.