Ayoub always dreamed of playing on a soccer team. From a young age, the 10-year-old idolized players like Zinedine Zidane and Riyad Mahrez—both fellow Algerians. Ayoub’s number-one goal in life is one day to be a pro player like them, too. But first he needed a proper team to play on. Thanks to Free Footie, he’s found one.
“It’s good,” his mother, Fatima, says of the program. “They give opportunities for kids to show you what they want. Some people are low income. We can’t afford everything.” Fatima knows all too well how quickly the fees for putting all four of her children in organized sports adds up—one league she looked into wanted a $200 deposit just for the jersey. “See? Too much! A single mom with four kids? You can’t.”