From Ajumako to the Major League Soccer: the inspiring story of Fifi Baiden | Read More
Right To Dream - News
From Ajumako to the Major League Soccer: the inspiring story of Fifi Baiden
1/29/2014 12:00:00 AM
to Dream graduate, Fifi Baiden
, was drafted by Columbus Crew in the Major League Soccer (MLS) Super Draft on 22nd January 2014, it was a crowning moment after years of hard work and determination.
Baiden becomes the second RtD graduate to sign for a MLS side, following in the footsteps of fellow RtD graduate, Michael Tetteh, who signed with the Seattle Sounders three years ago.
was selected with the fourth pick of the Third Round, taking a significant step to fulfilling a long held ambition to play professional football.
Born in Ajumako, in the Central Region of Ghana, Baiden
is one of four children in his
Just like many Ghanaian youngsters, he
grew up loving football and honed his
skills on the streets of Ajumako, with a dream of making the professional ranks later in life.
Opportunities were few and far between for Fifi
, who had to help his
parents to make ends meet from a very early age.
"My parents were poor and sometimes they were not able to pay for my school fees.
I helped my parents to sell kerosene and other petty stuff to help them make it," he
After spending five years at RtD, Fifi earned a scholarship to study and play football at Dunn School, a private boarding school in California in the US.
made an immediate impact at his
new school with his
dedication to his
studies, alongside winning MVP for three consecutive seasons in the school football team.
It was while playing for Santa Barbara Soccer Club that he caught the attention of the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), who offered him a scholarship.
career grew in leaps in bounds as he
made 18 appearances in his
first year at UCSB
before making a further 23 starts in the subsequent season.
time at UCSB
earned many accolades, including his
selection to the All-Big
West First Team, as well as a spot on the Big West Academic All-Conference Team.
humble beginning to his
rise in the USA, Fifi
recognises that Right
to Dream gave him the foundation to be where he
"In terms of the philosophy and the football skills I learnt, RtD
has always been with me."
And now he
has a chance to put that approach and skills to the test as he
professional football career in the MLS.
puts it: "A dream is worth the chance to make it happen.