This week the Lions said goodbye to a great footballer and a valued member of the Amaanah family, who departs the program for college.
Khalid Abdulkhalik joined the Amaanah soccer program in 2014 and has been a much feared force during the 1st team's inaugural season in the HFA.
A fast and skilled winger with a sharp eye for goal, Khalid scored fifteen goals in just seven games during 2018, leading both the team and the league in goals this season.
A consistent presence on the training ground, with a 100% record of games, he has exemplified the Lions values of hard work and commitment. His development as a player is testament to the results that can be achieved through application.
Amine Amrouni, the Lion's 1st team coach paid tribute to his importance to the club.
"Khalid has been a vital part of the team, both as a key member of our attacking unit and as a friend and mentor to younger players," he said.
"We'll miss him on and off the pitch, but we wish him success with this new chapter in his life. We're immensely proud of his accomplishments and we know he'll excel in everything he does."
Khalid will join the University of New Mexico, where he will study Biology and play for the University soccer program. He becomes the third player from the program to receive a full athletic scholarship. He hopes to become a doctor.
"It's a mixed day for the Lions," said Richard Spragg, who manages the program's back office.
"We're sad to lose one of our own, but this is exactly what Amaanah is looking to support through the program. Our sponsors and supporters can be proud of any small role the team has played in Khalid's journey. We hope to see more of our number head off to bigger things this year."
Khalid reflected on his time with Amaanah this week.
"Amaanah Lions is an outstanding program," he said.
"It has made me a driven person who works hard to attain my goals. I’ve learned the ability to overcome obstacles and follow things through to completion. This program has meant a lot to me over the years, helping to develop me on and off the pitch and supporting me in becoming a leader. The team has been an important part of my integration into American society, where I hope to make a long and valuable contribution.”
The HFA season restarts on January 27th at Bear Creek Park. To support the program, click the donate link in the menu, or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.