Liberian Soccer Spotlight:

Meet Eddie Kingston




     Throughout the 1990s, many young and talented Liberians found themselves in refugee camps around west africa and the rest of the world. Among the most famous of such camps was camp Buduburam, in Ghana. That camp saw the rise of Prince of Daye, Frances Grandpa Doe and Ben Teekloh.

      It was on this refugee camp that Eddie Kingston first harness his soccer skills. However, Kingston's talents was overshadowed by the rise of another Liberian player, Prince Daye who was quickly crowned as the next George Weah.

     Eddie quietly went about developing his skills away from the Liberian community. In HS as a 14 year old, he was spotted by the then Black Starlets coach, Oko Aryee, who signed him with Cape coast mysterious dwarfs in Ghana, a première league club.

    After only a season, and without breaking into the first team, Kingston had to leave for the United states as his family emigrated in 1995. Upon arrival, he did not compete in his senior year in HS due to injury and so he was not heavily recruited by colleges.

      Again Kingston had to go out and prove he belong on the big stage. His dream was to play D1 college ball, but no big schools were calling. So he went to a junior college in Springfield Illinois where he shattered every goal scoring record set previously by another Liberian, Alphonso Donyen.

     After scoring a staggering 42 goals in 2 seasons, and being crowned a two time all American, Eddie was recruited by division 1 powerhouse and defending big east and national champions St johns University.

     There again, Eddie was overshadowed by another Liberian who had had three solid seasons in top flight college soccer, Chris Gbandi. He was the poster ball of Big east soccer. Eddie still became an All American for one final season, before being spotted by George Weah himself at a summer tournament in Minnesota.

      George invited him to the national team and he was in camp with the team for the entire 2002 world cup qualifying campaign, winning four caps along the way. Upon his return from Monrovia, he left for Europe where he signed with NK zagreb, the then defending champions of Croatian football.

 

Zagreb missed out on the champions league by losing on a narrow goal in the qualifiers. After a season at zagreb, Eddie was loaned out to Malaysian outfit, ATM FC, as the club zagreb was in a financial mess.



It was at ATM that Eddie finally came into his own, scoring 12 goals and 7 assists as a striker/attacking midfielder. After his remarkable journey thru the USA, Croatia, and Malaysia, the only immediate challenge Eddie sees now is recognition and respect.

    He has offered to return to the national team on several occasions, but Kadala has ignored him repeatedly. Eddie thinks its all politicized and that the FA is doing away with kids from the George Weah era. "I'm not about to pay to play for my country, either, as some people have suggested " I drop Kadala something."

     Eddie is bidding his time, and take comfort in th fact that his talent was recognized by arguably the greatest player ever to play the game, (all respect to Pele and Maradona).

    Now a free agent, his next move could be anywhere

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