Soccer, it’s what Ogutu loves

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 24, 2010

Samuel Ogutu learned how to walk by playing soccer when he was a boy. | Courtesy photo

When you talk to Samuel Ogutu, it’s obvious that he loves everything soccer.

He even learned how to walk by playing his beloved sport.

“My parents tell me that I learned how to walk by kicking the ball, falling down and getting up again,” Ogutu said. “That’s how I first started playing soccer.”

Originally from Kenya, East Africa, Ogutu grew up playing in different soccer leagues in his native country.

He played in the middle school and high school leagues.

In the high school nation wide league, Ogutu said his team went pretty far in the playoffs. After high school, he came to the United States.

“We pretty much reached the knock out round, and got knocked out,” he said. “I had a knee injury, so I had to sit out and watch the rest of the tournament.

“Then, after high school, I started out with a soccer club, which played in a second division in our country,” he said. “We went highest to the first division, and that’s when I moved to the United States.”

Since he’s been in the United States, and living in Andalusia, Ogutu has played in the Mexican league in Brewton, Montgomery and Pensacola, Fla.

When asked why he loves to play soccer, Ogutu said the sport brings him joy.

“Ever since my childhood, it’s the only thing I was ever good at, other than school work,” he said. “That’s what made me so happy. When I was playing soccer, all of my feelings were just joyous. I am at peace when I am playing soccer. I feel that I am the happiest when I am playing soccer.”

Currently, Ogutu is enrolled at LBW Community College taking the basic courses to become a nurse. He said he wants to play soccer at a college or university in the U.S., and eventually become a doctor if soccer doesn’t work out, or when he retires from playing the sport professionally.

On his ambition to play soccer on a professional level, Ogutu said it’s been a “hurtle.”

“It hasn’t really been possible for me,” Ogutu said. “It’s been hurtle after hurtle. When I was playing back at home, I had all of these injuries and all of these problems with the team.

“Every time I looked at my future in soccer, it never looked bright because I always had these problems around me,” he said. “But, I knew that I had to play soccer because it was what made my happy. Every time I was on that field, all of my problems, and all of my qualms ran away. I knew I was happy there, and I knew I had to play soccer.”

Ogutu is the son of Joseph and Joyce Ogutu, and he has a brother, Emanuel.

Approximately two weeks ago, the 2010 FIFA World Cup ended in South Africa when Spain won the golden trophy.

Ogutu said he got the chance to watch it on TV, which is something else he loves to do.

“It was a pretty crazy one because they had some early games,” he said. “That’s what I love doing best is watching soccer. Then, we dream soccer and we live, and wake up and play soccer.”