I had always been an overly active child. At a young age, doctors diagnosed me with ADD or AHDH or some kind of that nonsensical medical mumbo jumbo. I thought that it was just that I was extremely hyper and wanted to have fun. My parents, who had dreams of me becoming a big money engineer, always thought that this condition of mine would be my downfall, but little did they know, it was actually the one thing that ended up propelling me to stardom.
By the time I was in the fifth grade, I was actually b beginning to agree with my parents. Being as smart as I was, I took notice of the face that I was too energetic to maintain interest in my school work. Luckily, I found my savior, Jesus. He was a small stereotypical looking Mexican boy who lived down the street from me in the middle of our ghetto neighborhood. No, really, it was the ghetto; we lived beside the local housing projects. Anyways, Jesus introduced me to the sport that would change my life. El se llama futbol. He called it football. It was soccer, to be translated into more American terms.
Jesus and I became close friends, playing soccer together everyday after school. I caught onto the sport quickly, and a part from being a simply enjoyable experience and past time, I found that it helped my schoolwork. Soccer gave me the ability to release all of this energy that I had built up, and it thus helped me improve my studies.
After a year or two of this, I began to play local club soccer around the state. I even helped lead my team to a couple of state cups, and eventually I began to be noticed. By my sophomore year in high school, famous worldwide teams were starting to come and talk to me. I took trips to various places to check out the facilities of the interested clubs, always with my trusted friend Jesus by my side. He never left me or forsook me. I felt the soft, cool grass of Celtic Park in Scotland. I feasted on amazing Italian food while at an A.S. Roma match in Rome. I saw the Camp Nou glistening and lighting up with flashbulbs at a nighttime match in Barcelona. I took a few too many deep breathes of the putrid air at the Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, and I felt my ear drums rumble as the crowds in the stadia of England roared.
In the end, I spent my late teenage years under contract with A.S. Roma, but on loan and plying in the United States. I won the MLS Cup with the Houston Dynamo and was then called up to play for the United States National Team. After spending a year and a half playing in World Cup Qualifiers, I suffered an ankle injury that sidelined me, and I returned to my home club in Rome to recuperate.
At this time I was 21, and being in Rome, I took the chance to decide to stay there. I played for A.S. Roma until I was 25. We won a couple of Serie A titles and made some runs in tournaments, but we could never reach European triumph in the Champions League. At the end of my tenure there, I became a member of F.C. Barcelona.
Oh yeah! Meanwhile, my parents were no longer complaining about me not being an engineer. I was making more money as a footballer than they had imagined, and a decent portion of my salary sent back home to them monthly was enough to keep them quiet. Jesus had told me, around the time that I was playing in the MLS that he would be going away, but not to worry, because he would return again in three days time. Sure enough he did and he appeared to me on the road when I was walking to Dallas. He gave me one last piece of advice when he said, “Go, and make footballers of all nations, teaching and instructing them in all the ways of the beautiful game.” Then he ran off towards Mexico. I hope he is alright; he always was the scrawny type….