Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Eritrean-Swede progressing in the NHL. Eritrean-American progressing in the NFL.

Eritrean Ice Hockey player update,
Most of you should be aware that it is time for playoff hockey in the National Hockey League. Eritrean-Swede Oliver Kylington who was drafted by the Calgary Flame in the last NHL draft has been playing for the farm club of the Flames located in Stockton, California for the Stockton Heat of the AHL (American Hockey League). Most rookies when they get drafted in hockey, like baseball or the D-League in the NBA end up in the farm system where they can garner some much needed ice time to polish themselves for the NHL. Recently before the playoffs in mid April, Oliver was called up by the Flames main team in Calgary to play against playoff contender Minnesota and he did well. Chances are he will be on the main team next season. According to some insider scouting reports Kylington is being looked at to play some important roles on next season's team. "The Eritrean-Swedish defenseman can flat out fly. He is not only the fastest defenseman on Stockton, he might be one of the quickest skating players in the Western Conference of the AHL. He is agile, with excellent straight line speed, edging, and lateral movement. He is also aggressive and uses his speed to jump into the play frequently. When it comes to speed with or without the puck, Kylington is definitely the best skater in the Flames system."
This is great news for another Eritrean venturing in the world of a sport not too popular amongst Eritreans. 

         Eri-Swede Defenseman Oliver Kylington of the Calgary Flames.

Eritrean American Football update,
Meanwhile in New Jersey, Eritrean-American third year NFL safety Nat Berhe worked out after being injured the entire season last year. Nat is back now and very thankful for the opportunity which can be taken away from you in an instant if you are not healthy. The safety missed all of last season with a calf injury which ended up being more than a pulled muscle. He developed a blood clot in the leg. After getting it removed he spent time in the offseason rehabilitating it.

Eri-American Nat Berhe back in action during a 3 day spring work out.

Nat got the green light last week when the Giants opened a three-day voluntary minicamp under new coach Ben McAdoo. Nat felt like the time off was too long and now has come back, with the same opportunity that he had a year ago when the Giants came into the spring with a starting job open at safety. 

Hope to see more of Nat Berhe in the summer and fall. Eri-international sports blog will keep you updated on his developments closer towards the season.

Good luck to two athletes who will be competing in non-traditional sports for Eritreans and as we celebrate the 25th year anniversary of Eritrea's independence the sky is the limit as Eritreans continue to be a part of many new ventures in sports.

For Eri-International sports,

Mike Seium



Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Confirmed: Alexander Isak Stays in Sweden.

In the past two weeks a young Eritrean-Swede Alexander Isak and a protege of the legendary young star Henok Goitom another Eritrean-Swede who plays for the ERITREAN national team has seen his name make headlines everywhere. Alexander has already made history in Sweden becoming the youngest professional soccer player of all time to score a goal in a competitive match. His age was recorded at 16 years, 5 months and 7 days (6004 days) when he scored his first goal for AIK. The previous record was also recorded by another Swedish Alexander Ostlund who was 16 years, 11 months and 26 days (6204 days) in October 1995.

It was reported by Eri-International sports that Alexander may be headed to the English Premier League as two team current champions Leicester City and Southampton were looking to grab him indicating that this young man has a bright future in professional soccer. Meanwhile another report which did not circulate is that Anderlecht of Belgium was also heavily interested in acquiring Alexander and were in the running until today.

AIK puts a stamp on Alexander.

According to the AIK website and people close to Alexander the thought of him going to England or Belgium have been put to rest as he will continue the legacy of Henok Goitom at AIK. Alexander Isaac began playing for AIK as a 5 year old and has gone all the way from the youth program through the youth team to the first team. He was raised in AIK's Youth Academy where an Eritrean coach Nahom Ghidey who is doing wonders for AIK also happens to be a part of this growing process for the Swedish team based in Solna, just outside of Stockholm. 

When asked Who his role models were, Alex said,  "I look up to Ibrahimovic, and Henok Goitom, of course." The Eritrean connection is deep as their fathers also know each other well. Henok has repeatedly praised the 16-year-old on social media, and has even shared advice on the training pitch. They are similar in their style of play. Alexander added, "Many people compare us. I have a hard job ahead of me, before I become really good, and to already get praise from Henok is big deal. I learned a lot from him. We are compatriots and support each other."

                      Eritrean Coach for AIK Nahom Ghidey doing WONDERS for AIK's youth Academy.

Thanks to the contribution Alexander has also decided to give back to the club that raised him as he remains loyal to AIK. Here is what the website for AIK has confirmed,

"AIK Soccer agree with striker Alexander Isaac on a contract that extends over 2018. Isaac officially moved up to the first-team squad and will continue to play in the number 36 jersey." 

Most of you have seen the video of Alexander before a game bonding with his fans at AIK and it is clear that the young man has a love affair with his home town team. Like Henok Goitom did before him and like the many thousands of Eritrean-Swedes who have been great citizens of their adopted country. Sweden benefits from Eritreans and it must be recalled that despite all the obstacles that Eritreans and other immigrants face, Sweden should embrace the ERITREAN community like AIK has embraced Alexander Isak and Henok Goitom.

                           Alexander Isak youngest all time goal scorer in Swedish league history.

Eri-International sports will continue to dig some important information on the role of Eritreans in the diaspora especially Sweden in the very near future. Meanwhile Congratulations to Alexander Isak for being one of the youngest Soccer players to sign a professional contract at the age of 16.

For Eri-International sports,

Mike Seium


Thursday, April 28, 2016

BREAKING NEWS! BREAKING NEWS! Leading EPL Team ( Leicester City) like 16 year old ERITREAN-SWEDE, Alexander Isak.


Breaking News from Eri-International sports as a new turn of events takes place in the game of soccer at the international level. As most of you know last week we witnessed 16 year old Eritrean-Swede Alexander Isak score two goals in just 4 games of the the Allsvenskan with AIK Stockholm side. As if losing Henok Goitom another great Eritrean-Swede was not enough, AIK may soon lose Isak who is being wooed by the English Premier League leading team Leicester City who should be rapping up their title very soon.

This is great news and could be very historical as Alexander may be in the top 10 of the youngest ever soccer players to make it to the EPL. If Leicester City decides to sign him, he may be the first player to be signed by a championship team following their winning season. 

According to a top newspaper source from England, "Isak impressed Leicester scouts in Sweden's recent UEFA Under 17 Championship qualifiers against Wales, Portugal and Croatia.The Premier League leaders then watched him again as AIK played Norrkoping and Elfsborg."



It was also known that Southampton FC scouts were at one of the games when Alexander scored. Southampton currently stands at #8 in the league which is still a pretty good move for this young man who has taken Sweden by storm. While this may be great news for Alexander, it will be a battle to have him play for Eritrea as the Swedish national team will have a grip on him, unlike Henok Goitom who could have helped them in their quest to be one of the top teams in Europe.



This is a huge break for the young Eritrean-Swede who has shown that he can play with the best of them. He will be closely followed by the already crazy soccer fanatics of the world which includes Eritreans at home and in the diaspora. 

We will keep you updated on this new development. Once the Leicester City vs Manchester United game is over this weekend, decisions may be made as the team can start signing players for next season.

Good luck and what a splendid news coming out of Europe for a young Eritrean star.

For Eri-International Sports,

Mike Seium

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Thomas Kelati: Eritrean-Polish-American currently playing in Spain's top league for UCAM Murcia.

It has been a while since we have heard from Thomas Kelati who has been consistent in his ability to play some hard core basketball. Many of us recall when Thomas was signed briefly with the Los Angeles Lakers making him the first Eritrean to join an NBA team. While that adventure did not last long, he became a free agent and was waived. He played for Power Electronics Valencia where he signed a nice contract following the Lakers. In 2010 he won the ULEB (The Union of European League Basketball) Eurocup playing for Power Electronics Valencia. He played a big role throughout the season and showed why he deserved to play in one of the top leagues in the world.

                        Thomas playing for Khimki in Russia.
In July of 2010, he inked a two-year deal with BC Khimki of Russia signing a pretty decent contract. With BC Khimki he won the VTB United League in 2011 and Eurocup in 2012. Following that great season with the Russians, he left BC Khimki in 2012 after his contract ended.

In the summer of  2012 he signed a two-year contract with Valencia Basket where he moved to the beautiful city of Valencia once again. After an injury and sitting out for a short time he left Valencia in June 2013 one year after securing a contract. In late September of 2013, he signed a two-month contract with Laboral Kutxa also in the Spanish league where the team was located in Basque Country. He left the team and has since joined his current team also once home to another Eritrean sports star Henok Goitom who played for Ciudad Murcia. Henok has recently signed with Getafe as most of us are aware.

                Thomas Kelati with his new team UCAM MURCIA
Meanwhile, in February of 2014, Thomas signed with UCAM Murcia for what was left of the season and had a very good run so the team has since then extended his contract for two more years. Currently Murcia is struggling to make the playoffs. The team led by Greek coach Fotis Katsirakisa won a huge game last weekend on its home court. Thomas Kelati once again struck as he helped his team defeat Baloncesto Sevilla by the score of 80-76. The Eritrean-Polish-American who has done well throughout his career had a huge day bringing back memories of his college days at Washington State University by scoring three consecutive three pointers for a total of 9 points as he came off the bench. Thomas' role with his new team is the 6th man and his ability to defend and shoot long has helped his career by contributing a lot to all of his teams. 


Can Thomas who is seen in this very recent picture above sporting an Eritrean Scarf help his new team Murcia a place that Eritreans have made a great athletic career out of, into the playoffs? We shall find out and keep you posted on Eri-International sports.

For Eri-International sports

Mike Seium












Thursday, March 24, 2016

Johan Cruyff: A Legend is gone, he leaves a great legacy & lesson to be learned.

The world of soccer or as it is known all over the world "Football" has lost one of a kind. Considered by some as the most skilled player, Johan Cruyff has to go down as one of the few people who transformed the game and it can be argued that the era in which he played may not be repeated again. With arch nemesis such as Franz Beckenbauer, and the greatest player of all time Pele, George Best, Eusebio and the many others who shaped the game of soccer, Cruyff will always go down in history as the person who introduced us to "TOTAL SOCCER". Way before Ronalidinho, Messi, Ronaldo of Brazil, Maradona, Ronaldo of Portugal, Cantona, Zidane, and the many others including those who played for Cruyff while he was a coach at Ajax, Barcelona and the Dutch national team where he inspired the likes of Rudy Guillit, Frank Rickjard, Marco Van Basten and the many others that came after them, he was regarded as the man who created magic with the soccer ball.



In an interview he conducted for a documentary, Johan once said that the soccer ball was like your friend and you have to keep it with you when you need to and pass it on to others when others came to take it from you. Starting with his humble beginnings in the streets of Amsterdam, Cruyff got the opportunity to start playing as a kid with the Ajax club where he was able to work and hang out with older players that thought him some of the skills he acquired.

As an avid fan of the Dutch national team which has never won the world cup, I became intrigued by his ability to move the ball as if it was tied to his feet. Watching the 1974 world cup as a very little kid with my dad and his friends on TV, I was mesmerized by the way he handled the ball and shared it with his team mates. When the Orange Crush lost their final game to Berti Vogts, Muller and Franz Beckenbauer, I was heartbroken. Meanwhile, while growing up in the US, I was fortunate enough to see him play for the Washington Diplomats. In the early 80's some of the world's best players including Pele made their way to the NASL (North American Soccer League) with the addition of many African players who did not have big leagues in the continent as well as some of the up and coming college stars with the USA, the league surpassed every one's expectations and was regarded as a very competitive league. It is to be recalled in a game at RFK stadium, Cruyff scored one of the best goals of his career where he took the ball from midfield and after dribbling through many players and placed the ball in the back of the net. Local TV in the DC area must have showed the highlight for almost a month after wards and Cruyff shure enough won the title of "Budweiser goal of the year". He was purely a class act and a great ambassador of the game but what he will most be remembered for is his prowess on the field.

Johan won the Ballon d’Or three times. He was such a majestic play maker and revolutionized the game by allowing a fluid style of play. His mind thought way ahead of time and his timing synced well with his flow of the game. He went on to coach in Europe and provided us with a son Jordi. The son followed in his dad's footsteps even though he may not have been as good as his father. As an executive of Ajax, & Barcelona the impact he had on the game from coaching to running a strong and immaculate program will forever go down in the annals of history. Today the sports world and the game of soccer lost an icon.

The lesson to be learned:

As a habitual smoker until year 1991, Johan Cruyff may have hurt himself and as a result of it he got lung cancer. Most people don't talk about the cigarette smoking years which were his heydays because he went into coaching after he quit. I was always amazed by people like him whose athletic abilities were so good and they also smoked cigarettes. I had one such teammate in college and he was one of the best players on our team, however I am amazed to see a player the caliber of Cruyff practicing something that would affect him later in life. He was a chain smoker and may be young people can learn a lesson or two from this experience.



May He rest in Peace! He will be missed as a soccer legend, executive and plain simple a great human being. His image will forever be engraved in my head like some of the greatest players who have played the game. Why? Because I LOVE SOCCER!

Mike Seium
For Eri-International sports.