Welcome to Atlanta where the player’s play.
Actually, I used to get made fun of for playing soccer.
Oh you play soccer, you soft.
Then I graduated high school, I scored 107 goals I was just scoring every game We had this cool idea, this needs to be the forefront like I always thought jerseys could be better anyway you know what I’m saying Why not add my own little flavor to it? The brand is the same way as a style of play in my opinion It’s like how much flair can you have on the pitch and still be effective? Sometimes were the underdogs, some people underestimate Atlanta but in reality we’re on the map now.
My name is Ahkil Russ, I’m 20 years old.
I’m the first person in my family to ever play soccer.
My community where I live at, they never played soccer.
They were playing like football, basketball I was the only playing soccer.
There weren’t really any teams to begin.
It was some dude named Christopher Wedge.
He actually owned a league called Sons of Pitches.
Sons of Pitches is a league where anybody can play pick-up soccer every night.
7v7, 8v8, 9v9.
It’s like freestyle you just play withdifferent people, whoever get there, you play with them.
When I was around growing up it wasn’t it wasn’t that big, but now it’s huge My name is Sekou Thornell.
The Kitboys club is a creative brand collective that blurs the lines between urbanculture and sport.
The brand way as a style of play in my opinion, Ilike journeys this way but let me flip this and do this way to make this athing.
I got some vinyl, cut up for me and I was like I just wanted to be thesponsor or Kitboys would be the sponsors.
Every day we get to wake up and go at it.
You know I’m saying like that to me is fun like the making cool stuffwith my friends, having a space to do so.
The music to do so we do a project, somebody asks something different of us and I enjoy that everything I did Ilearned through you know 10 other players on the pitch, so it only madesense to kind of include that and translate that here.
I’ve been kickingball probably since four years of age a lot of the reason why US soccer is notas developed as it should be is ’cause you have to pay to play in.
Talent never really got recognized at those higher levels if you couldn’t afford to.
Nobody has $1000 to spend on going to play soccer for fun, go outside.
I started like looking on YouTube for moves and I choose one move and work hard on that same move until I learned it and then once I learned that move, I go to the next move, to the next move, to the next move.
I played academy for a year and that’s what got my scholarship.
They allowed me to do community service with my mother, to help to pay for those fees.
The dream was just like make it pro, you know, however you knew.
I’m living it, I’m feeling myself, I’m knocking goals But you know you can kind of bring the defender down so he doesn’t do a break away? He tackled me from behind, I tore a couple ligaments in my ankle, well I tore all the ligaments in my ankle.
It’s like, well what do you do now? Christopher Wedge saw me playing, he was just fascinated how young I was doing the stuff I was doing.
He’d just be like, kid you can do something big.
You got it! Every night, I used to play every night.
Until like 11 o’clock and then go to sleep and do the same thing all over again.
Man, it just went up from there.
We gotta’ win, we can’t lose.
‘Cause I had to re-brand my identity, who I was, I didn’t know who I was.
You know I didn’t have the sport.
All I knew, it’s all one thing, soccer and me.
Just one thing.
Like why not bring it back to where we started to make something new? I was like that’s perfect, like it’s the ultimate circle.
In Atlanta, there’s almost like a no-holds-barred on how you do things, you know you just get it you grind at it, you work, until you make it.
Next wave, just getting started.