Mohammad Alyami is a soccer player with Detroit City FC.
The Saudi government sends students here to study. I have six uncles who used to study in the United States. Three in Chicago, one in Washington, D.C., and two in Tennessee.
I went to my uncle in Chicago, and he told me that he did not think I would be successful in school in the United States because I did not know English. He told me that I should play soccer, that it would be good for me.
I went to high school, but they didn’t accept me. I was 19. I went to Chicago Fire and I tried out with them. They accepted me. We started playing. I played with them for two and a half years. Then I went to the University of Illinois at Chicago. I played with them for two semesters. Then I stopped and started working on my English instead.
Before I came to Michigan, my government sent an e-mail [that said], “You have to start college.” I was looking for a college with my major. I didn’t find it in Chicago. They do have computer science, but I was looking for network and software development.
I found it in Southfield. I told my uncle to apply for me. I get accepted for the school. I applied for a soccer scholarship. My government said, “Okay, we’re going to give you [a] scholarship.” They gave me a full scholarship.
I moved here and played with Detroit City for six games. Then I tore my ACL. When I finish fixing my leg, I can go back. I’m just waiting until I get permission from the doctor.