Reporting Mike Max
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The state soccer tournament is into the semifinals at the Metrodome. One team, Prairie Seeds Academy, is on a definite mission and it’s all about a championship.
They are the most talked team in the field. Prairie Seeds Academy is a charter school with a niche — winning soccer games.
On Monday, they did just that with a 2-1 win in overtime over Rochester Lourdes. Many of the team’s players came from somewhere else, as in a different continent.
“A lot of us grow up in Africa so we came here together. We all play soccer, we all go to the same school, a lot of us play for the same club,” Prairie Seeds Academy Captain Adama Keita.
While winning a state championship would be important to Prairie Seeds Academy, it almost seems secondary. The goal is really is exposure that can create opportunities through college scholarships.
That’s the vision of the coach, Youssef Darbaki, who has twin sons on the team. He also played for Morocco’s national team and coached collegiately, so he’s got a year-round program.
“And you see the results … you can see it in the field and the way we play as a team,” Darbaki said.
He is unapologetic in his philosophy that earning college scholarships is a bigger priority than winning a state title. Because he believes that’s the ticket to the American Dream.