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Kai Pham uses timing, speed in soccer

Kai Pham said soccer is a collaboration of many sports. CONTRIBUTED
Kai Pham said soccer is a collaboration of many sports. CONTRIBUTED

Athlete of the Week

MADISON – In a first for boys’ soccer at James Clemens High School, Kai Pham was named to the second team at state finals.

“Kai also was our first boys’ soccer signee,” James Clemens Principal Dr. Brian Clayton said.

“At state, my team and I won medals and the championship trophy,” Kai said. Individually, Pham received ‘Man of the Match’ status in Guadalajara, Mexico against the Chivas USA team. “It was one of my best games ever.”

“I never really decided to play soccer,” Kai said. His parents registered him when he was six years old.

“Soccer is a collaboration of many sports,” Kai said. “Just like track, you need to sprint short and long distances. In football, running backs (must) have quick footwork and agility like soccer players. In basketball, it’s vital to finish every lay-up, like putting the soccer ball in the net.”

Pham’s soccer assets are speed and timing for attacks versus possessions. “I communicate well with my teammates. I’m not the biggest or fastest player, but I make up it by staying light on my feet and having endurance to last me the entire game,” he said.

His parents are Hung and Hiromi Pham. He works as a software engineer; she is a dental hygienist.

Q&A

Q: At what restaurants, do you enjoy eating?
A: Kai enjoys food ranging from American to Greek. His favorite restaurants are Phuket, Chipotle and Taziki’s.

Q: What is your favorite food?
A: Banana bread.

Q: What are your favorite sports teams?
A: European soccer clubs Arsenal and FC Barcelona. Minnesota Timberwolves in NBA. Vikings in NFL.

Q: What’s your favorite sports memory?
A: Playing against rivals in city championship game. “To win, my team needed to defeat the opposition in a penalty shootout. I was the last player to take the penalty, and my shot could win us the game. I stepped up to the spot, I shot left and the goalkeeper dove right. Our team rushed the field chanting our school name, ‘Go Jets.'”

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Watch plenty of Netflix, read and hang out with friends.

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