Sunday was Father's Day in North America, and while many current MLS players were themselves recipients of cards and gifts from their loved ones, a handful of players wished a happy Father's
Day to men who were, at one point in time, professional athletes.
In total, 10 current MLS players are the sons of former professional or international soccer players. The fathers of
, Alecko Eskandarian
and Leighton O'Brien
, Taylor Twellman
all played professionally in the North American Soccer League. Mehdi Ballouchy
and Danleigh Borman
's fathers had careers overseas, while
and Macoumba Kandji
's fathers represented their respective national teams (Fran O'Brien
played internationally for their countries as well).
Another group of players took their fathers athletic genes but decided to buck family traditions in the
pursuit of professional soccer. Seattle Sounders FC forward Jarrod Smith
, whose father played international cricket for New Zealand, chose soccer and now represents the New Zealand
national team. Marvell Wynne
is the son of Marvell Wynne Sr., a former Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball player. The fathers of Danny
, who also gave their first names to their sons, played professional football. O'Rourke was a wide
receiver for the Houston Oilers, while Jaqua played safety for the Washington Redskins before serious injury ended his career prematurely. "My dad got kind of beat up playing football and
couldn't keep playing," Jaqua said. "My mom kind of turned us away from playing football. But by the time I was old enough to even make that decision I was already hooked on soccer
"My older brother started playing soccer and I did whatever he did," Jaqua continued. "My dad never played soccer but he's actually gotten really into it
over the years. I think now he watches more soccer than I do."
Read the whole story at MLSnet.com »