Davies' Mohammed Ali making the most out of his time in America, with the Eagles

PHOTO: Mohammed Ali making most of his time in America

FARGO — All Mohammed Ali wanted to do growing up was play soccer.

So much so that when a ball wasn't made available to him, he took matters into his own hands.

"We played with objects, like sometimes oranges and other things," Ali said.

He was raised in Liberia, a country on the coast of West Africa. When he was still a child, his mother left for the United States to be with her husband.

Mohammed stayed behind with his grandmother. He was raised by multiple family members.


"I was just like a kid, like go to this uncle, be there for a couple of times," Ali said. "Go to the aunt, be there for a couple of times, go to the other uncle."

His uncle took him to an Islamic institution, where he became steadfast in his faith, even becoming a student teacher. When he graduated at 14 years old, he moved in with his older brother.

That's when he went back to the sport he always loved.

"I got out there and showed what I had and people started respecting me and I started to get friends," Ali said.

When he was 17, after his family had asked him for years to do it, he finally made the move to the United States. He started school at Fargo Davies and thought soccer would be in the cards, but it wasn't clicking just yet.

"When I got here, we just thought we were going to play soccer," he remembers. "I tried but I wasn’t successful at that time."


The team, led by head coach Ian Costello, encouraged him to continue trying. This year, he came back out and it was clear he belonged on the pitch.

"It goes into what I heard he was doing this summer," Costello said. "He would just go over to the park there and just by himself working on that individual skills, that technical ability he has."

The hard work has paid off. He leads the team with five goals and two assists, helping the Eagles get to third in the EDC.

For Ali, soccer is a passion. The move to America taught him it's not everything.

"I felt the key to life was soccer," Ali recalls. "If you’re not a soccer player, you’re not successful in life. That’s how I used to think personally."

"Things changed when I came to the United States. I saw what was important, learning was important."

Zach Staton joined WDAY as a sports reporter in 2018. He grew up in Salem, Virginia loving any sport he could play or watch. Staton graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in Communication Studies before getting his Master's in Broadcast and Digital Journalism with a Sports Communication Emphasis from Syracuse University.
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