While I am not an American citizen, I am a green card holding resident and as such, I am hoping for a great showing for the Yanks at the World Cup in Brazil. It brings me great joy to share the stories of a few members of the USNMT and their faith in God.
Here we go:
You can read in this feature on him by Sports Spectrum Magazine that Dempsey has lived a life affected by tragedy. At the age of 12, his older sister (aged 16) died of a brain aneurysm. In college two of his teammates were involved in a car accident – one killed and the other would never play soccer again. But through all that he has faced, his faith in God – instilled in him by his grand-mother, has become very important to Him. This article from Christiantoday.com talks about the role that faith plays in his life even now on the biggest soccer stage in the world
Like Dempsey (and all of us, too), Tim Howard has also faced some challenges in this life. As you can read in this article from Athletes in Action, his parents divorced when he was 3. At the age of 12 he was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. And also like Dempsey, his faith in God was greatly influenced by his grandmother. Now he enjoys using soccer as a platform to share his faith with others, encouraging them to trust God, no matter what their struggles are, and to understand that winning, losing, playing time – all those things are pretty insignificant compared to knowing God!
Here is a video of him talking about his faith
Beyond the Ultimate did this feature on US Goal Keeper Brad Guzan. In it we learn about Guzan’s faith that his parents instilled in him at an early age, and how it has helped guide his life since that young age. He knows that God has been with him all along. In the article, Guzan gives a great reminder that “when things are going well – great – I give praise to Him; and when things are not going well, I ask for His guidance and His help to keep me going in the right path.” He goes on to say that he knows that soccer and all it has provided for him can be taken away in the blink of an eye and that following God is all that really matters. Check out the video below.
I also want to draw your attention to Beasley. U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann asked him to change position from mid-fielder to left back (defender). This is a pretty drastic change. He had been one of the top scoring threats for U.S. for a decade, but with the change Beasley said
“the goal was now to stop strikers from doing to him what he’d been trying to do to others for so long“.
He had been one of the U.S.’ top scoring threats for the past decade and now, his focus would be on defending his own end. He agreed and finds himself playing in his 4th World Cup. When asked why he made this big change without hesitation of complaint when, he said
“Even if I thought things were not going the way they were supposed to go, I have always had faith that God would open that next door for me to walk through. A lot of what I do is based on the grounding I have with faith.
There is a lot to learn from the example of these men. Depend on God in hard times. Trust Him at all times. Be willing to follow where He leads and understand He is more important than anything else.