The world's game alive in Tyler

By Coleman Swierc - bio | email

TYLER, TEXAS (AP) - Soccer is the world's most popular game.

So it makes sense then that the TJC soccer team...comes from all over the world.

In fact, nine different countries are represented on the Apache soccer team.

"It is fun," said midfielder Kyle Nicholls, an England native, "to have all this diversity from all over the world, you learn alot about each other."

Yeah, from all over the world the players have come to Tyler, and have led the Apaches to the #1 spot in all of the nation.

"We really don't know how to handle a loss," said German native Martin Seiler.

But it hasn't been easy, while the game is the same...the languages...are a bit foreign, to everyone.

"Football language is an international language," said German Andre Grandt.

"At the beginning the language barrier was a bit of a cuango, (which we learned was a British slang term for confusing) but now everyone is good, and everyone can understand each other," said British import Jordan Francis.

"The Jamaicans, I didn't understand one word, but now I know every curse word there is," said Kenneth Mena, who hails from New York, one of the few Americans on the team."

"There is no communication barrier, not anymore," said Henry Machacha, a South African native, "you put enough players together, they learn to communicate."

Of course playing soccer in the United States...means the inevitable confusion...everywhere but here...soccer is called football.

"Back home in Germany we don't even have football, we make fun of American football," said Grandt.

"We just want to make sure that we are soccer players and not football players," said fellow German Seiler, "people ask what do we play, and we say football, and they are like 'oh, you what do you play? Quarterback?' and I say no, I play centerback."

"You don't kick the football, you kick the soccer ball, so it needs to be called football from now on," said Columbian Camilo Solirte.

So maybe the name of the game won't change, but for these guys...it doesn't have to...winning sounds the same in any language.

The Apaches recently finished the regular season a perfect 16-0, and will host the district championships this Friday and Saturday.

The winner of the four team districts, will advance to the NJCAA National Championships.

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