Victor Mansaray had quite a weekend.
On Saturday, he scored his first goal with the Seattle Sounders FC first team.
On Sunday, he celebrated his 18th birthday.
But on Monday, he is scheduled to be back in class at Fife High School.
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“I think he’s a very talented player who sometimes loses focus in the game, and we talked about being focused, and I thought he was a man possessed (Saturday) when he got on the field,” Sounders coach Sigi Schmid said. “… He’s still trying to finish high school ... and he’ll train with (USL Sounders 2 this) week there. But I was very happy with his attitude and his approach to the game.”
Seattle already was trailing Sporting Kansas City, 3-0, when he was subbed on in the second half of their Desert Diamond Cup match. Mansary had been on the pitch for about eight minutes when his goal came, heading in a corner kick from Seattle native Aaron Kovar.
“I was just trying to make an impact, and that’s what I did,” Mansaray said. “I was at the right spot at the right time. I was just trying to finish my chances.”
Soon after, Mansaray had the ball at his feet in front of the SKC goal again. However, this time he couldn’t get in position to launch a shot, so he chose to send the ball wide to veteran Kenny Cooper. That decision almost got Mansaray an assist to go along with his goal, but Cooper’s shot banged off the far post.
Mansaray was born in 1997 in Sierra Leone and also spent time in Jamaica before his family moved to Puyallup and then Fife. He entered the Sounders FC Academy during the 2012-13 season and scored 11 goals in 20 matches. The next season, he led the U-16 club with 18 goals in 24 games. In November, the forward signed as the club’s fourth local player.
Mansaray also has played for the United States U-18 national team.
Schmid saw this trip as part of his education.
“I thought it would be good for him to be here and to be around the group,” Schmid said. “That’s an important factor of growing as well.”