Earlier this month, we shared the inspiring story of Richmond native Saalih Muhammad, the emerging 21-year-old soccer star who earned a contract with the San Francisco Deltas after an open tryout last fall.
As the San Francisco Chronicle put it, Muhammad was the “feel good story” of the Deltas’ preseason, but what happened just hours before the team’s season debut at Kezar Stadium on Saturday was downright painful.
During a routine workout, Muhammad tore his Achilles tendon, a season-ending injury, according to the Chronicle. It’s a significant blow for the young, promising player who “was expected to be slotted in as a substitute providing an offensive punch for the midfield off the bench,” the Chronicle reported.
“We spoke with Saalih, and he understands that the club will be here to support him, to help him, and be one-hundred percent beside him through the recovery process at this moment of his career,” head coach Marc Dos Santos told the newspaper. “We’re heartbroken for Saalih because we know how hard he has worked to reach this point.”
Muhammad, who attended El Cerrito High, has in the past played at the most esteemed training club in Croatia, but more recently developed a maturity and control to his game that has made him an even more attractive young player. That especially showed in November, when he was the only player of 300 to earn a contract with the Deltas following open tryouts.
Read more about Muhammad’s career in our profile here. We’re confident we haven’t seen the last of him.