All eyes are on Africa tomorrow as Cameroon and Egypt are set to play in the African Nations Cup final. But one Wizards player will be watching more intently than most: Yomby William. Yomby, selected by Kansas City in the 2nd round of this year’s draft, grew up in Bafoussam, Cameroon before coming to the US in 2005 to play soccer at Old Dominion.
Only two other players from Cameroon have ever played in the MLS: Sammy Ekeme, member of the inaugural 1996 Wizards squad, and Alain Nkong, who scored the lone goal in Cameroon’s semifinal upset victory over host Ghana on Thursday. Nkong played for Colorado in 2005 and 2006.
Yomby was gracious enough to answer several questions for the occasion, shown below.
Geremi and Bertin Tomou are both from your hometown of Bafoussam, what was the soccer like growing up there?
Bafoussam is a town where every kid is dreaming about being a professional soccer player. There are 3 professional teams just in Bafoussam so you can see how popular soccer can be there. Geremi is one of the most popular if not one of the best players of the country. Soccer is the main sport back home and everybody wants to play even though you can`t take care of your family by playing soccer.
What is your favorite memory of the Cameroon National Team?
My favorite memory of the Cameroon National team is when we won the Olympic Games in 2000, I think. We beat Brazil, Spain and other well known soccer nations to be the champions.
Do you hope to play for Cameroon?
Do I hope to play for Cameroon? Yes, I do! I have been dreaming about that since I was a kid. I had an opportunity to play a little with the youth but not the real stuff. I will be pleased to play for Cameroon if I have an opportunity.
How closely have you been following the 2008 African Nations Cup? Will you be able to watch the final?
I have been watching every single game since the begining. I am a little disappointed that a big tournament like that is not on TV. I have been watching it through the internet. I can’t wait to watch the final. We lost aginst Egypt on the first game 4-2 and I am sure this time we will be more organized and maybe we will end Champions. I hope we will get it right this time.
A prediction for the final on Sunday?
A prediction? I don`t know, I am not very good at prediction but I hope we will be able to win. Egypt is a great team also you know. I hope we win!!
With the 2010 World Cup in Africa for the first time, do you think an African team like Cameroon could be a contender to win?
Sure, I think the fact that the the World Cup is in Africa is a great advantage for the African countries. I have faith that one of the African countries which will make it to the World Cup will go farther than before. Cameroon could be a contender to win; Egypt, Ghana, Cote d`Ivoire might win also. We will see what will happen there!
Thanks, Yomby! And good luck to Cameroon. The game is at 11 a.m. (CST). This will be Cameroon’s 6th appearance in the African Nations Cup final, having won 4 of the previous 5. Their only loss? Tomorrow’s opponent, Egypt, in 1986. Egypt is also the defending champion.
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