The vision of a champion is somebody who is bent over, drenched in sweat, at the point of exhaustion, when nobody else is looking.
Michael Lahoud was born in Freetown, Sierra Leone, Africa and immigrated to the United States at the age of 6 years old. Michael was forced to leave his home country due to civil war. He made the long trip, all alone to Washington D.C., where he met his mother, who was already granted entry to the U.S. To say there was culture shock upon arrival to Northern Virginia would be an understatement. Soon after arriving in the States, Michael realized soccer was a great equalizer for him. With a new country and a new language to tackle, soccer became a vehicle for Michael to communicate with others and make friends. From that point on, a soccer star was born.
In high school, Michael earned All- Met and Virginia State Player of the Year honors. From High School, he went on to earn a scholarship to Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. At Wake, he helped lead the team to their first ever National Championship. He also ranks second in Wake Forest soccer history in games played and fourth in games started. He graduated in three and a half years with a degree in Mathematics and Spanish. After graduation, Michael was drafted 9th overall in the MLS draft in 2009 by Chivas USA. Four years later was traded to the Philadelphia Union. He played in Philly from 2012-2015 and participated in the U.S. Open Cup Finals with Philly in 2014 and 2015. He currently plays for Miami FC. Michael was selected to play for the Sierra Leone National Team. He made his first trip back to his home country 21 years after he was forced to leave.
While Michael is amazingly accomplished on the field, it’s what he does off the field that shows his true spirit and devotion to helping others. He has built a school in Sierra Leone with his friend, Kei Kamara, called the Education for All School. At EFAS, up to 78 children receive a free education and access to clean water. He has raised funds for the fight against Ebola by creating the “Kick Ebola in the Butt” and volunteers on the Board of the LAFC Academy in South Central L.A., mentoring local youth. He’s also on the advisory board for the Breezy Foundation, and has recently accepted an ambassadorship for Beyond Sport. As a result of all his charitable efforts, Michael was awarded the prestigious FifPro Merit Award in 2015 for his work in his native Sierra Leone. He is the only person to be the recipient of both the MLS and NASL Humanitarian of The Year awards in 2010 and 2016 respectively. In his few moments of free time, Michael enjoys hanging with his friends and family.
Q&A with Michael Lahoud
What’s the number one thing on your bucket list?
The number one thing on my bucket list is to live in the Mediterranean. It's the most diverse part of the world.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
My Favorite Workout Song is Schemin' Up by OB OBrien featuring Drake and P.R.
What’s your favorite workout song?
My biggest supporters are probably my family and my closest friends. They've always believed in me even when I haven't.
Who’s your biggest supporter?
My go-to PowerBar product is the PowerBar ProteinPlus 20g Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar. It fueled me during my offseason workouts and I plan to fuel up with it during this season as well.
What’s your go-to PowerBar product?
Strawberry-Banana PowerBar Energy Blasts