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Sports Features of Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Source: thehofstrachronicle.com

Ghana’s Meshack Eshun Addy electrifies the pitch

Meshack Eshun Addy Meshack Eshun Addy

You see the euphoric crowd – the way they celebrate your dazzling moves as you make your way up the flanks, sizzling through opponents. You watch how the crowd reacts after you score a 25-yard blistering shot to the top left corner of the net.

You are now an integral part of the team. As the Pride continues their magical season you score and show how great of a soccer player you are. The feeling is not new or any different from your high school days in Spain where you scored 27 goals in a season.

But things are different now for the Pride men’s soccer player Meshack Eshun Addy, whose family is 3,500 miles away.

The economic situation was not good for Eshun Addy. There was no guarantee that he was going to play college soccer. His girlfriend’s father sent videos of his soccer skills to colleges in the U.S.

Before he knew it, he received numerous offers from universities. The only thing that was certain was that he had the opportunity to study in the U.S. doing what he loved most, without the cost of tuition.

A month later, he left Spain. It wasn’t the first time he left to a new faraway place.

Eshun Addy was born in Ghana, but his family left for Spain when he was five. This time he moved alone.

“I was debating whether to keep playing soccer or focus on my studies. I scored 27 goals that year [2011-2012], and I have always wanted to make it pro,” said Eshun Addy. “But I respect my parents a lot, and they wished for me to continue my studies.”

“It’s different in Spain,” said Eshun Addy. “I played for my school and they have no relationships with clubs. I still want to be pro; the dream is still there.”

Eshun Addy is in his second season for the Pride. The midfielder is usually utilized as a winger and he plays a major role in the team’s success. Eshun Addy is the team’s leading goal-scorer alongside Joseph Holland with six.

The transition into college soccer wasn’t easy, Eshun Addy only scored one goal in his first season, against William & Mary on Oct. 11 2014, after seeing 570 minutes of game time throughout the season. To put that in perspective, so far Eshun Addy played 1,007 minutes in the current season.

“The change of system was the main reason it took me so long to get used to American soccer,” said Eshun Addy.

“In Spain it is a lot more technical, in America there are very good athletes, the first time I came, everyone was tall, strong and very fast,” said Eshun Addy. “It’s not only technical; you have to prepare yourself physically. You need to go to the gym and put a lot of effort. It’s a combination.”

Eshun Addy noted the variety of players that the Pride has. He praises how the U.S. has an array of players from all over the world bringing different styles of play to the team.

“You have players like Joseph Holland, he is one of the best players I have ever seen skill-wise. And then you have Nino [Alfonso] who is very fast and strong but may not have the same skill level as Joe,” Eshun Addy said. “There is a lot of variety here with many different abilities. It’s very good because you take little things from everyone to improve your game.”

The Pride coaching staff plays a crucial role in helping foreign student-athletes in becoming accustomed to their new surroundings. People often forget how excruciating the demands are for students who move to another country, speak another language and make new friends all while studying and traveling around the country playing games.

“When I came, in the beginning everything was very different,” said Eshun Addy. “I needed to change my language again and being far away from home [and] everything. It’s just very different.”

“[American players and coaching staff] are very patient. And I am grateful for that we have a really good group and a great relationship,” said Eshun Addy. “We are one big family. They will always be there for you in and outside the field.”

The Pride is now ranked 22nd in the country at an overall mark of 10-5, and 5-1 in the conference. After the Pride’s season-opener victory against No. 15 Syracuse, the team was in tremendous form and became possible title contenders.

“Beating the No. 15 team in the country helped us a lot especially confidence-wise,” said Eshun Addy. “We knew we were a good team and winning against Syracuse was a dream. And after that team went up, everyone was playing better, defending better, it was great. That was the beginning of this great team.”

Eshun Addy also praised Nuttall’s ability to keep the team on track and helping the player’s mentality before every game to keep the team as consistent as possible if they are to win the conference and possibly reach the NCAA.

“He would tell us in games like the one against Syracuse, ‘Well done guys, but this means nothing if we lose next game,’” said Eshun Addy. “One of our goals before the season was not losing at home. Richard always reminds us of our goals and tells us to keep those goals alive.”

Alongside soccer, Eshun Addy is a political science major and international affairs minor, studying to hopefully one day work in the United Nations. His Hofstra journey gives him the opportunity to aspire towards his dreams to one day be the successful person his parents set him out to be.

“Hofstra has a great program for political science. Studying at Hofstra will get me an internship either at the United Nations or somewhere else,” said Eshun Addy. “Hofstra is one of the best schools in the country, it wasn’t part of my plan, but I am glad everything worked out.”