With the immediate success of youth players during Team USA’s win at the Mandela Challenge Cup, Coach Bob Bradley has set his sights on bringing in younger soccer stars to the senior team. 8-year-old Zachary Jesus-Salvatore Kpodo is the 4th player selected under 23 since after the USA’s successful run at the 2010 World Cup. Kpodo lives in Chile and holds quadruple citizenship to the US, Italy, Chile, and Ghana.
Multiple citizenship can be attributed to being born over US airspace to a Chilean father and Ghanian mother. Zachary’s father was diagnosed with “severe impotence” and the couple turned to an Italian sperm donor, who is now seeking custody of Kpodo.
“Early bird gets the worm. We need to cap these multinational kids before the other teams do.” states Bradley. Asked about Kpodo’s soccer background, Bradley replies, “He has a pretty good in-step, and (assistant coach Jesse) Marsch is teaching him not to ‘toe’ it.”
In a mini practice session, Kpodo suffered a concussion after colliding with US backup Goalkeeper Brad Guzan. After steamrolling the youth, Guzan comments, “It’s OK. ‘Kpodo’ means ‘elder of twins’ in Ghanaian.”
[this article was contributed by author david ma. thanks, david.]