Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Alexander Isaac scores 2 goals on his 17th birthday & already compared to Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Get used to Eri-International sports blog writing about the newly turned 17 year old Alexander Isaac who is taking the Allsvenskan (Swedish Premier league) by storm. On September 21st Alexander Isaac celebrated his 17th birthday with two goals. Already in 16 minutes, Isaac was looking at his third opportunity at a goal against a strong team in Djurg√•rden. He scored his first goal a beauty with ease however, what makes Alexander Isaac unique is how difficult he is to keep track of around the goal area.  He is very good at looking up for free space and can easily find his teammates, a trait that even the most experienced players adapt after years of playing the game of soccer. In this huge game for AIK also known as the "Derby" it was a moment for the young birthday boy to show what he can do as he added a second goal in the 65th minute to extended AIK's lead 2-0. Stefan Ishizaki crossed a beautiful ball with his left foot as Alexander jumped and surprised the opposing team with a great header.

After the game many people were talking about this young man who is an Eritrea-Swede and playing the game of soccer on the international arena at such a young age. One of his Nigerian veteran team mates Chinedu Obasi who represents the Nigerian team had this to say, "He could be the new Zlatan Ibrahimovic." For entire game highlights just click on the youtube link below.

While Alexander was delighted by the nice words. His maturity level probably the Eritrean trait he got from his beautiful culture got over him as he responded back in a humble way saying that he has a long way to catch up to that level.
As Eritreans and I am sure millions of Swedes you can only proud of the professional level of this young man. He has the ability, the know how and most of all the maturity of a person who is more seasoned than his age. While many teams around Europe are after him, he has committed to his home town team AIK Stockholm and you can see the relationship he has with his hometown folks.

A simple young man who thrives on his ability and loyalty to his home team. I personally wish that he would represent Eritrea and that Eritrea's national team program would have been good enough to be able to give him a choice, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Swede's will not let him easily slide by. See below at the :34 second mark as Alexander pays tribute to his fans.

Happy birthday Alexander Isaac and I hope you continue to inspire millions of people and represent the Eritrean people while also sharing your Swedish culture.

For Eri-International sports

Michael Seium

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bayern Munich and other top European teams want Alexander Isaac.

Alexander Isaac of AIK Stockholm is being sought after by clubs from the top leagues in Europe and he has only played a couple of weeks after resting from a stomach flu that sat him out for a couple of games. According to his coach many top teams have shown interest in the attacking talent. The interests come from teams in the Premier League, La Liga, Bundesliga and Serie A, according to reliable sources from with the AIK organization. He was heavily being touted by premier league champions Leicester city as well as Southampton and recently Manchester City then you have the Italian Serie A teams of Inter Milan and Roma who are still in the running to get him. His popularity has gone even to the point of getting an offer from Red Bull Salzburg which is said to have submitted a bid with 2.1 million euros for the 16-year-old Solna striker. Some of you may recall that the newly named Red Bull Salzburg is where one of the first Eritrean professional players Yohannes Woldeab played in the 1990's.

One of the most important things to understand is that Alexander's contract will be written with him finishing this season in Sweden with AIK. His coaches and the administration of the club have been very supportive and are willing to let him make his own decision.The fact that he is way too mature for his age and his traits as a good disciplined person have a lot to do with teams wanting him but at age 16 it is very important to understand that he has what it takes to be a top notch player. A rarity that is not witnessed in many places. His physical fitness and his stride as well as his goal scoring ability and even knowledge of when to pass the ball makes this young man a complete player. He grew up in the Swedish youth soccer system but has developed very quickly. Active in his Eritrean community may be that also has something to do with his great assets.

Bayern Munich and the new interest.

The interest from Bayern Munich came when the Swedish U17 team played against Poland which resulted in a 4-2 win for Sweden. Scouts from many teams including from Bayern Munich were  sent to assess the performance of the 16-year-old and he did not disappoint as his physical appearance as well as his performance was able to convince the guests when he scored a goal and dished an assist. Bayern will continue to monitor Alexander's development according to their top management team. The simple fact that top notch European teams are interested in a 16 year old Eritrean-Swede is great news. It is also to be noted that Alexander and AIK have received offers from Cagliari and RB Leipzig two teams in Italy and Germany attempting to get to the top of their respective leagues. Alexander will be playing this weekend after a 1 week break in the Swedish premier league. Watch for him as he could be the next source of inspiration for our Eritrean youth.

For Eri-International sports

Mike Seium

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Eritrean people & sports fans are amazing.

Eri-International has been writing about Eritrean related sports for a long time now. Throughout the years we have written stories that have been very inspirational and educational. As a collective unit we Eritreans have done amazing things collectively and we must continue to do so for the future generations.

Henok Goitom made his first appearance for the Quakes since being signed on Aug. 10, playing                                                                         21 minutes as a substitute.
One classic example of Eri-International sports blogs has been Henok Goitom. Some may ask why Henok? Simply put he exemplifies what every athlete should be like. He is humble and in a world where famous athletes have sometimes become a bit selfish, Henok Goitom has remained humble and kind. As a child born in the diaspora (Sweden) of Eritrean immigrants he has proven that with tender love from parents and his community he has been the role model that millions aspire to be. In Sweden he was voted as the best player in the country by fans. He has also transferred his knowledge and experience to younger people including the up and coming youngster Alexander Isak. He has also helped build a youth team made up of immigrants which started of scratch and are playing in the lower Swedish professional league. Eritrea also has many other athletes within the country and outside of the country. We can list them all and the numbers are growing. But how about the fans?

Eritrean People & Fans are always side by side with their athletes.

Since Eritrea's independence whenever information goes out about athletes or Eritreans participating in major events the Eritrean fans come out to share the success and add color to the event, individual or teams. It has been proven over and over again. It is with this in mind that I say let us continue to develop our Eritrean teams every opportunity we get.

It is with this in mind that I want to thank the San Jose area community of Eritreans lead by Fitsum Kiflezghi and many more who were able to attend the first game of Henok Goitom's Major Soccer League game. While the team lost a close game to Houston (2-1) the support was a classic example of the can do Eritrean Spirit. Eri-International sport has remained connected with professional organizations and will attempt to share information as well as education by advocating for diaspora and Eritrean athletes. Henok got in the game late but the San Jose Earthquakes lost a close one. Meanwhile, the team has 10 games left for the season and will attempt to sneak into the playoffs despite a very tough task ahead of them. They are not fully out of it yet but for them to make the playoffs they must win and Henok as a proven scorer can help them get close in his very first year.

Thank you San Jose area Eritreans for waving the flag of the can do people of Eritrea and welcoming him to the Bay area. We hope to see other cities emulate this noble deed.

For Eri-International Sports
Mike Seium

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Welcome to Major league Soccer. Eritrean-Swede International Henok Goitom.

Eri-International Sports Blog is proud to announce that on Friday August 19th, 2016 The San Jose Earthquakes will be hosting the Houston Dynamo at Avaya stadium in San Jose, California as Eritrean national team member makes his debut in Major league Soccer. Eri-International sports has arranged for Eritrean fans to attend the game by working out a deal with the San Jose Earthquakes who were kind enough to grant us some good seats and at a very reasonable cost. We encourage Eritreans in the bay area and especially in San Jose to attend the game and support Henok Goitom. Eri-International Sport also has other plans to work with the San Jose Earthquakes in the near future and we will fill you in on it as we get confirmation for next season.

As Eritreans and Eritrean-Americans it is a blessing to see one of our own playing in the USA. What makes it even unique is that Henok Goitom is a humble individual who has done incredibly well as a person and athlete. He embodies the Eritrean people's attitude. His upbringing in Sweden to Eritrean parents has turned him into a great person. He is a great role model and the Eritrean community in San Jose and the Bay area should seize on this great opportunity that the San Jose Earthquakes have provided. Henok is also an ambassador of the Eritrean people and communities across the world. He was picked by a team that has strong soccer traditions.

Who are the San Jose Earthquakes?

So as a young man myself, I watched the North American Soccer League and witnessed some of the best players in the world at the time like Johan Cruyff of Holland, Giorgio Chinaglia of Lazio, Ray Hudson, Nene Cubillas of Peru and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers, Jomo Sono, Gordon Banks, Franz Bekenbauer, Roberto Bettega, Gerd Muller, Kaz Deyna of Poland, Eusebio, Pele and many more. One player I can never forget introduced me to the San Jose Earthquakes and he was truly the "Best" in the old Irish spirit of love, George Best one of the most incredible and skillful players for the San Jose Earthquakes. He was a blast to watch and even had scored the budweiser Goal of the year after he dribbled past defenders of the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers to put the ball in the back of the net.

George Best of the San Jose Earthquakes scored this fantastic goal against the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers on July 22, 1981 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose. It's often called the greatest goal in NASL history. The franchise's roots trace back to 1974, when the North American Soccer League (NASL) awarded an expansion franchise to San Jose, named the Earthquakes. The name Earthquakes originally came from a newspaper contest in the San Jose Mercury News, in which fans were encouraged to send in suggestions for the name of the franchise. Henok will also be the George Best of his era as he will add a lot of energy to the team as it attempts to make the playoffs this year. 

So far the San Jose Earthquakes will try to extend their unbeaten streak to six games and move above the red line in Major League Soccer's playoff race. San Jose (7-6-10) is seventh in Major League Soccer's Western Conference standings with 31 points, just one point behind the sixth-place Portland Timbers whom Henok Goitom scored a goal against during his visit to the USA while he was with AIK Stockholm. Houston, meanwhile is (4-10-9) and in last place in the Western Conference with 21 points. San Jose has not lost in its last five outings. The Earthquakes are coming off a 2-1 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Hopefully the will continue to win and slide into the playoffs. 

Already according to San Jose, "Henok is a proven goal scorer that will add punch to our offense," Earthquakes general manager John Doyle said. "We think he will be a great fit for the club both on the field and in the locker room. 

Go and Support here is all the information that you need.

Matchday Information

Kickoff: 8:00 p.m.
Gates Open: 6:00 p.m.
Parking Lots Open: 4:00 p.m. 
Will Call and Guest Services Open: 5:30 p.m. 
Special Event: Portuguese Heritage Night
Giveaway: 5,000 Meriwest Credit Union Lunch Bags

Have a great time and don't forget to wave the Eritrean flags so that Henok Can see it. 

For Eri-International Sports

Mike Seium