Finding Nimo: From Liberia to Generation Adidas

According to Stephen Goff, Alex Nimo, a seventeen year old forward, will likely be announced as a member of the elite Generation Adidas today. His journey to escape civil war in Liberia to Ghana and eventually Portland, Or. is a remarkable tale, told in full on the U.S. Soccer site.

As many refugees struggle to find food and medication for illness, death took the lives of people who couldn’t fend for themselves. Nimo remembers being on the streets and his mother covering his eyes as they passed dead bodies on the street, yet this didn’t shield Nimo from the truth that people were dying every day.

“If he’s not your neighbor, (the person dying) is two blocks away,” said Nimo. “Every morning you’d wake up and somebody was dead. Sometimes someone was laying in your front yard…dead.”

At the tender age of nine, Nimo and his family were finally granted political asylum to escape the overwhelming destitution. With financial support from Catholic Ministries, the family was scheduled to move to Portland, Ore.

When Nimo’s father told him of their move in the United States, Nimo quickly turned to a world map to find his new home.

“I looked on the map and I couldn’t see Oregon,” he said. “I had heard of New York but I didn’t know where Oregon was.”

Eventually, he won a full scholarship at the FC Portland Academy and after receiving his citizenship, joined the U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. Read the whole story here.

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