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Danny Mwanga: 'I'm very grateful for my country'
July 21st, 2013 2:05AM

TAGS:  colorado rapids, mls, video


[VIDEO PICK] MLS Insider takes a look at the Colorado Rapids' Danny Mwanga, who was recently granted U.S. citizenship, capping a journey that took him from his native Democratic Republic of Congo to the United States. He was reunited with his mother, who had immigrated in 2001 after his father, a government worker, went missing one day and was presumed to have been murdered by anti-government forces.

The first thing he asked from his mother when he arrived in Oregon was a soccer ball, and soccer provided him a way to make friends when he didn't yet know English. It gave him a chance to get an athletic scholarship at Oregon State and a chance to turn pro and help support his family.

"It's not an opportunity everybody gets," says Mwanga, who was the No. 1 pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft.

He's bounced around MLS from Philadelphia to Portland and now to Colorado, where he hasn't scored in nine games. But he's still young -- he turned 22 on Wednesday -- and ready to contribute to his new country.

"I'm very grateful for my country," he says.

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