Where Are They Now?
The question I get asked perhaps most of all: where are they now? Where are the players, the coaches, and the families of ONE GOAL? While the answers vary -- school, work, Lewiston, Minnesota, and so on -- there is one player that's pretty easy to follow, because he's playing Division 1 soccer for the nationally ranked UML Riverhawks. There's no doubt that the university knows it has something special in Abdi H. -- check out this beautiful feature about his road to Lowell.
On a steaming hot day in August, I travelled to Quinnipiac University to see Abdi take the field (with brownies, of course, because Abdi thinks my brownies are the best ). To say it was thrilling would be a bit of an understatement. Now wearing #16 but still dressed in Blue & White, Abdi looked every bit the part of a player on a powerhouse squad. Seeing him play, meeting some of his teammates -- there are almost no words.
Lewiston's own Justin Pelletier, as always, does have the words. After a standout career at the Lewiston Sun Journal, Pelletier is now at the Boston Herald, just a stone's throw from Lowell (feels like everyone gets to live in my beloved Massachusetts except me). He recently introduced his new readers to Abdi's story, describing the college sophomore's journey from a Kenyan refugee camp to Lewiston's first state championship soccer squad to a D1 soccer team.
While watching Abdi play at Quinnipiac, the brownies melting in the heat, I texted back and forth with Pelletier, who confessed he was a little bit jealous that I was at the game. There is nothing I can tell him about Abdi that he doesn't know -- the soccer coverage of the Lewiston Sun Journal sportswriters and photographers is unparalleled. And he -- like so many others -- understands why there is still much to marvel over Abdi's story, over the story of Lewiston soccer, and, perhaps most of all, over the importance of sports in our daily lives. We aren't alone. Just ask Abdi about the youth and high school soccer players who message him after reading ONE GOAL.
So Abdi's journey continues. And we continue to be grateful to have that occasional front row seat.