Former NFLer Amos Zereoue Returns to his Soccer Roots at Cosmos Copa

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Written By Chris Azzopardi

Amos Zereoue played seven seasons in the NFL as a bull of a running back, running through tackles and slamming into linebackers. In his post-American football life, he’s gone back to his roots as a soccer player.

Zereoue was born in the Ivory Coast and immigrated to the US as a boy. Like so many young footballers in the States, he traded the beautiful game for America’s sport of choice. He played at West Virginia and for three NFL teams before hanging up his cleats in 2005. To get back to his passion – soccer – he found an amateur club to play for in New York City and recently represented his home country for NYC Ivory Coast in the 2011 Cosmos Copa.

“Football was nice and I was good at it, but soccer was always my passion. Now I’m out here having fun,” said Zereoue. “The craziest thing is, I felt more pressure playing soccer on Sunday in front of 10 people, than football in front of 100,000.”

NYC Ivory Coast fell in the qualifying round of the Cosmos Copa, but it’s brilliant to see someone like Amos Zereoue – a world class athlete who reached the heights of the NFL – have a chance to represent the nation of his birth in a tournament that embodies the passion of the sport that was his first love. You can leave soccer aside for a few years, but it never completely goes out of your blood.

Obviously Zereoue cuts an imposing figure on the pitch. According to him, at least, he’s got a little skill, too. But defenders still probably shouldn’t get in his way.

 

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