An American dream: Kaleem hopes to have struck the right chords

The 22-year-old awaits contract decision after having tried-out for US club Sacramento Republic


Our Correspondent June 10, 2015
The 22-year-old said that although the trials went well, he is still unaware whether he will be signed up for the upcoming season. PHOTO COURTESY: KALEEMULLAH

KARACHI: With successful seasons at Pakistan’s KRL and Kyrgyzstan’s FC Dordoi under his belt, Pakistan striker Kaleemullah hopes for a bright future for himself at the US Soccer League after impressing Sacramento Republic’s coaches.

The 22-year-old, who had earlier travelled to Sacramento, California for a month-long training stint, said that although the trials went well, he is still unaware whether he will be signed up for the upcoming season.

“So far, it’s been an amazing experience,” Kaleem told The Express Tribune. “The coaches and the players in the US have really encouraged me; I can tell that they liked my game. They couldn’t believe that a Pakistani can play football on a professional level. So it’s a great opportunity for me to leave my mark. I just gave my best during the trials and I’m hoping for the best at this point.”

The national team striker also hopes that his stint can open up pathways leading to America’s top division, the Major League Soccer (MLS).

“Sacramento Republic has provided me with top-notch facilities. If I do get to play for the club, I know it wouldn’t take me long to play for the MLS, something which is a dream for me,” said Kaleem.

The Chaman-based youngster also hailed the support he received from the Pakistani-American Sports and Culture Organisation and its head Kamran Malik, who made him feel at home on his first trip to the US.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 11th, 2015.

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