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Akrem Muzemil

Bad week for home teams and penalty kicks in soccer: City FC Rangers, the under-19 squad representing D.C.  lost on PKs in the final of the Futsal National Championships in Anaheim.

Futsal is sort of miniaturized soccer, a five-on-five (rather than 11 v. 11) version played indoors or out on a field roughly the size of a basketball court.

And City FC Rangers is part of City FC, a do-gooding athletic association whose teams play in the Stoddert Soccer league.

The group has for years taken kids of modest economic means, many of whom are recent immigrants to the U.S., and used the beautiful game as a carrot to get the youngsters involved in various academic and social mentoring programs.

It’s a noble effort all around, and from my experience the kids try to give as much as they get.

I began following City FC Rangers because of the participation of Akrem Muzemil. Muzemil played high school soccer here at Banneker, a school that didn’t have its own soccer field.

Yet, as a high school junior last year, he created his own charity and raised money to build a decent soccer field for kids in his native Addis Abbaba, Ethiopia over the summer break.

Yeah, Muzemil, who helped City FC Rangers win the state and regional futsal championships that punched their ticket to Anaheim, is at least as easy to root for as anybody on the U.S. Women’s World Cup squad.

So, tough luck on the loss, but congrats on getting to the finals of the finals.