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Tom Mix, Published September 25 2013

Kenya native feels at home on the pitch for West Fargo

West Fargo - West Fargo’s Abdi Gedi never misses out on an opportunity to play soccer.

It is a pastime that is just too important not to command his full attention year round.

Gedi, a senior forward for the Packers, is constantly in pursuit to become a better player, whether it is staying late following a practice in August or going to an open gym in January.

That work ethic was developed at a young age, when Gedi first picked up the sport living in Kenya.

Gedi, 17, was born in Kenya. His parents relocated to Kenya from Somalia in order to avoid conflicts brought on by civil war within the country.

In 2008, Gedi and his family relocated once more, this time to the United States.

With each move, his main objective was finding a place to play soccer.

“I’ve been playing since I was a child,” Gedi said. “Soccer is the only sport I played growing up in Kenya. There was no football or basketball.”

After several years living in South Dakota and Nebraska, Gedi arrived in West Fargo in 2011, but unfortunately he was too late to join the Packers, who had already entered postseason play.

Gedi was not discouraged, and in 2012, he made the varsity squad and helped West Fargo clinch a berth in the state tournament.

This fall, Gedi was voted by his teammates to be a captain – something he is very proud of.

“He is a great asset to the team,” West Fargo senior midfielder Zuheer Al Abase said. “When we need a goal, he is one of the guys we look to. In my opinion, Abdi and Akeem Smith make up the best forward combo in the state.”

“He started paying on the team a year ago, but he didn’t emerge as a leader until this fall,” West Fargo head coach James Moe added. “He is very creative with the ball. He creates for himself, but he also gets others involved.”

Gedi leads the Packers with 21 points. He has 11 goals and 10 assists through 15 matches this season.

“I’m just trying to help my team,” Gedi said. “As a team, our motivation is to get to the state tournament.”

West Fargo (11-4-0, 7-3-0 EDC) is in second place in the EDC, four points behind Fargo Shanley. Smith has 13 goals and three assists, and Al Abase has posted eight goals and six assists.

The Packers have three matches left before the state tournament set for Oct. 10-12 in Jamestown.

Besides his goal scoring ability, Gedi possesses other skills that make him standout on the pitch.

“His footwork is excellent,” Moe said. “One on one he is able to past a lot of defenders, and his footwork is something I always see him working on year round.”

During the offseason, Gedi plays on a Somali soccer club team that plays a competitive schedule with other Somali teams in the upper Midwest.

Gedi plans on playing soccer at the collegiate level, but is still undecided.

What Gedi does know is that West Fargo has been a great fit for his soccer career.

“It’s gone well for me,” Gedi said. “I enjoy playing and living in West Fargo.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562