Join Now | 
HomeAboutContact UsPrivacy & SecurityAdvertise
Soccer America DailySoccer World DailySpecial EditionAround The NetSoccer Business InsiderCollege Soccer ReporterYouth Soccer ReporterSoccer on TVSoccer America ClassifiedsGame Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalkSoccer America ConfidentialYouth Soccer InsiderWorld Cup Watch
RSS FeedsArchivesManage SubscriptionsSubscribe
Order Current IssueSubscribeManage My SubscriptionRenew My SubscriptionGift Subscription
My AccountJoin Now
Tournament CalendarCamps & AcademiesSoccer GlossaryClassifieds
MLS's 'first son' to boost Wizards
by Mike Woitalla, January 27th, 2010 7AM



Is young Teal Bunbury, who is set to become the first son of a former MLS player to play in the league, the cure for the Kansas City Wizards' anemic offense? Quite likely if he continues following the footsteps of his father, Alex, who says Teal is even more of a natural goalscorer.

"Ever since I was young and watching my dad I always wanted to be a professional soccer player -- especially as I got older and I realized how much I loved the game," says Teal Bunbury, who left Akron after his sophomore season.

Alex Bunbury immigrated to Canada from his native Guyana. He scored 16 goals in 64 appearances for the Canadian national team and is in the Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame. Teal was born in Canada and played for its youth national teams, but he spent most of his 19 years in Europe and the United States.

Teal first saw his father play when Alex joined England's West Ham, but his first memories are from Portugal, where Alex spent his prime years as a leading scorer for Maritimo. He scored 59 goals in 165 games during his six seasons. Teal was 6 when the family moved to the Madeira Islands. He went to his father's practices and got to hang out in the locker room.

"I remember thinking, 'OK, this is what I want to do,'" said Teal, whom the Wizards picked No. 4 overall in the 2010 SuperDraft.

The six years Teal spent in Portugal had a profound impact on his development. He joined Maritimo's youth program at age 6 and recalls the experience as "amazing." But that was just part of it.

"I went to a private school and me and my buddies would always try to find a place to play after school, like parking garages or parking lots, dirt fields, anywhere we could," Teal says. "That was our life. It's the culture over there."

Alex, who started his pro career in the Canadian Soccer League, finished in MLS playing for the Kansas City Wizards in 1999-2000 before retiring at age 33. The family then settled in Minnesota, from where Teal's mother, Kristi, hailed.

"My dad started coaching me when I was in fourth grade," Teal said. "He had a huge impact and influence on me. It was tough sometimes. He pushed me a lot. At times I didn't like it and cried to my mom, 'Dad's being too hard on me.' But it was definitely worth it.

"He knew what he was talking about, so I would listen and try to do my best."

Teal Bunbury, Soccer America's 2009 Collegiate Player of the Year, also won the Hermann Trophy last year, becoming only the third sophomore to win the trophy that dates back to 1967. He'll turn 20 before the MLS season, when the Wizards will try to rebuild an offense that mustered a measly 33 goals in 30 games last season.

"I'm honored that the Kansas City Wizards are giving me an opportunity," said Teal, who has dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship. "There are high expectations. I'm up for the challenge."

No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now



Recent Soccer America Daily
What They're Saying: Jurgen Klinsmann    
"Watching the MLS playoffs has been tremendously exciting. The games in the first round with the ...
Klinsmann: Nagbe is a 'great fit' for national team    
One of the standouts in the MLS playoffs has been Darlington Nagbe, who has helped the ...
What They're Saying: Didier Drogba    
"It's a different challenge [in MLS]. People think it's easy to play there. Believe me, it's ...
What They're Saying: Stocksbridge Park Steels chairman Allen Bethel    
"I can't believe what I've been seeing on Saturday nights. He's always on his own. Why ...
MLS: Sporting KC continues talks with five free agents    
Sporting Kansas City re-signed 12 of the 13 players it had options on -- all but ...
MLS: Orlando City declines option on Hall    
Stemming from the roster moves announced Wednesday, Orlando City SC may not look radically different in ...
MLS: Revs re-sign Kobayashi, send three to Portugal    
New England announced Wednesday it has renewed the options on 14 players, signed midfielder Daigo Kobayashi ...
Sacramento wants to show it's ready to roll    
While efforts by David Beckham's group to find land for a soccer stadium in Miami appear ...
Johnson scores again in Champions League    
Fabian Johnson scored in his second straight game for Borussia Moenchengladbach in the UEFA Champions League ...
USA names 20 for U-20 Women's World Cup qualifying    
Eight collegians and 12 youth club players comprise Coach Michelle French's roster for the U-20 Women's ...
>> Soccer America Daily Archives