Jul 13, 2015
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A young accomplished soccer player from Richmond has launched an online fundraiser for what he calls a crucial trip across Europe to trial for professional clubs.

In his passionate gofundme.com campaign, 19-year-old Saalih Muhammad wrote about overcoming a usually debilitating congenital disease to become a highly decorated soccer player and youth sprint champion.

He is now trying to raise $7,500 to cover airfare, housing, transportation, and food as he trials for teams in countries such as Greece and Germany. After training from ages 16 to 18 with Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia, one of Europe’s top soccer clubs, Muhammad is doing all he can to fulfill his dream of signing a contract at soccer’s highest level.

“This is the time where I have to put it all on the line, or risk being forgotten forever,” Muhammad wrote on his gofundme.com page.

Muhammad says he’s had “a taxing journey filled with ups and downs,” including being born with bilateral clubfoot — a congenital deformity causing his feet to face inward. Despite undergoing a successful surgery as an infant, doctors advised he might never become a competitive athlete.

“I am ready to push even harder for a dream that I know is attainable for a boy from Richmond, born with club foot, odds against him, and a huge heart,” Muhammad said.

If you’d like to contribute or learn more about Muhammad’s effort, go here.


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.