In the case of Central Florida midfielder Kevan George, it was a gamble worth taking.
On a wing and a prayer, George's parents uprooted him and his brother from Trinidad & Tobago, where he was born, with the hope of better opportunities for their two sons. A 12-year-old George landed in Atlanta, Ga. where he was ready for the unexpected.
“They knew no one out here, they didn’t know anything about America other than what we saw on TV,” George told MLSsoccer.com on Saturday morning. “They heard it was a land of opportunity and they just decided to move to help my brother and I further our studies and athletics. They just hoped that they would find a job to support us. It wasn’t thoroughly planned out, but it was for a reason.”
The family's risk has ultimately been rewarded. Kevon caught on with local youth club Concorde Fire and his play in youth tournaments helped him land a spot at the University of Central Florida, where he excelled for the last four years.
George, who played on Friday at holding midfielder for the adiPure side at the MLS Player Combine, is now on the brink of his lifelong dream. And just five days from the MLS SuperDraft, he looks back at his parents' bold decision in 2002 as the turning point.
“Moving out here was definitely the right move,” he said. "[Trinidad and Tobago] don’t have the facilities. There are skilled players, but they are not determined and disciplined players like the players are here [in the USA]. Everything is combined in one [here], so I’m glad I left at the time I did because I could take my Trinidad culture and adopt it to the American culture.”