By: Zach Jepson
Do you have a home field where you practice or play regularly?
No, we are generally from a few states across the East Coast, so it varies when we get together.
What made you interested in participating in the Unity Cup?
This is our second year in the tournament. After last year, we couldn’t wait to come back and try to get to the final.
What was your favorite moment from last year’s tournament?
Personally, winning our group on goal differential in the last minutes of our final group match was exciting.
How did your team come together?
In its current form, it’s generally people of age with a background in playing. There aren’t a lot of us Kalmyk Mongolians here, so we kind of all know each other. A few years ago, we got back together to compete in a few Mongolian Soccer Association of America tournaments, and we’ve been together ever since.
Can you tell us a bit about the rest of your team?
The rest of the team is comprised on some of my teammates from South Jersey F.C., which is one of the top clubs in CASA Soccer League.
What does soccer mean to your community?
Historically, it’s always been important. Our parents and grandparents were part of some great sides that competed in national tournaments and had a lot of success. It’s in our culture.
How do you think soccer in general (and the Unity Cup in particular) promotes inclusivity?
Anybody can play, and there are all kinds of players with different skill sets. You need players of varying skills to have a team that performs well. In its most basic form, it promotes collaboration. Particularly, the Unity Cup doesn’t turn any country away, and organizers are open to ideas. It really is a joint effort amongst so many different people and groups. It’s a great reflection of what the city is about at its core.
What groups in Philadelphia would you recommend to someone if they wanted to learn more about the culture of the country your team represents?
Check out the Kalmyk Brotherhood Society.
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about your team’s country?
The history and how Mongolia helped shape the modern world with its conquests, along with geographically how large it is.