Cal State University Bakersfield men's soccer puts diversity on display with nine nationalities represented on the roster

Posted at 2:14 AM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-31 05:14:28-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — It doesn’t take much time on the Cal State Bakersfield men’s soccer sideline to hear many different voices. What it makes it unique is that you’ll get to hear voices from all around the world.

On a team of 24 players, there are nine different nationalities: United States, Bermuda, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Ireland, Northern Ireland, England, Germany and Japan.

"It brings that type of culture into the team, everybody has their own culture, it’s always good to get to know each other," junior goalkeeper Detre Bell said.

"There are so many different cultures, I think it’s interesting, it makes it fun," freshman midfielder Eamon McLaughlin said.

It’s not always easy when you bring that many backgrounds and that many accents to one place.

"Some people may think that I’m speaking another language when I’m on the pitch because I scream a lot. It’s English though they understand what I’m saying, they like to make fun of me sometimes, but it’s still English," Bell said.

But, it’s probably the Irish players who catch the most flack.

"For sure, Eamon, like at the beginning it was very hard to understand him," senior midfielder Niklaus Korber said.

But ,his teammates have made the most of his Irish upbringing.

"I don’t know if it’s just the culture or just himself but he’s a really fun guy, you can always laugh with him." Korber said.

"I don’t know if they think I’m actually funny or they can’t understand me or they just laugh instead, but hopefully they do," Bell said.

Bell is a fan of his coaches accent, too.

"Give him a 7.5 (laughs) no, I give him a 10," Bell said.

All these different voices have one thing in common, they followed their love of the game to Bakersfield.

"Who wouldn’t want to come to Bakersfield," CSUB men's soccer coach Richie Grant said.

Hailing from Dublin, Coach Grant is the catalyst for the team’s diversity.

"It’s an absolute delight to work with, different players from such different backgrounds but when we get out here there’s a common language on the pitch is football," Grant said.

And, they’re all learning the same lesson.

"It’s all about the sports, it’s not about where you come from it doesn’t matter where you’re from when you’re on the pitch, it just matters how you play the game," Korber said.

We might as well call these Roadrunners, world runners.