When Amadu Kunateh was younger all he wanted to do was become a professional soccer player, but his coaches at North Shore United Soccer Club helped him channel his dreams to include a college education.
The 16-year old from Salem, who was born in Sierra Leone, has been playing for Revolution’s academy club for three years and is a junior at Lawrence Academy in Groton. He expects to commit to a college after his high school soccer season ends.
“This is a very big year for me because I have started to look at colleges,” said Kunateh, who plays forward for the Revs and midfield for the Spartans. “Brown, Harvard, Boston College, Duke, and Stanford are my top five. My former coaches Stefano Franciosa and Aparicio Smart at North Shore United have helped me so much.”
TopDrawerSoccer.com, a leading Web site for college soccer prospects, rates Kunateh the No. 19 forward nationally in his high school class, and No. 4 overall in the Northeast region.
“I never used to think about going to college. I would have been happy to finish high school, but the NSU coaches talked to me about my future, and made me realize how important a college education is,” said Kunateh. “They did so much to help me get into Lawrence Academy. Aparicio knows one of the coaches at Lawrence Academy.”
Kunateh began playing soccer as a youth in Sierra Leone, a country located in West Africa. His father, who is deceased, was a professional soccer player in Sierra Leone, and his mother also played.
“My family moved to Salem from Sierra Leone in 2005 when I was 8-years old,” said Kunateh. “We were war refugees, and I have family in both Salem and Lynn. I started playing in the Salem Youth program, and then with North Shore United from the time I was 10. We had players from so many different countries including the Dominican Republic, Panama, Greece, and Albania as well as from America.