How Soccer Changed a Town

Coming to America

Imagine living in a country where violence occurred everywhere you looked. This was a way of life for many refugees in the book Outcasts United. Many of them escaped their home countries and had a chance for relocation-- Clarkston, Georgia. Upon arrival, the newly American families would have to learn English and find a job to support their children. These jobs were often night shifts working at factories or as maids in hotels. While the parents were away, the kids would often wander around Clarkston looking to make new friends.

One or the Other

Continuing the Program

Luma's rules were strict, and if broken, would result in being kicked off the team.

1)No involvement with any gangs

2)Show up to practice an hour early for a tutoring session to help with English and schoolwork

3)Always be respectful to the coach and fellow teammates

4)Cut your hair short

These rules made it possible for the Fugees to grow together as a team, and be successful in America. Once word spread about how amazing the refugee soccer team was, many donations made it possible for Luma to start an academy. The Fugees are a real soccer team in Clarkston, Georgia and have been since 2006.


The book Outcasts United was based on factual events and written by Warren St. John. It has been selected as reading material for colleges around the nation. I loved the book because I thought it was inspiring to hear how people from different cultures could find a connection and become good friends. And this connection also happened to be one I like--soccer.