It hasn’t been the easiest of years for Michael Tetteh.
The 20th overall pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft has seen only Open Cup and reserve league action for the Sounders FC over the last two years. This year, though, Tetteh’s progress was stalled by a hamstring injury that kept him out of consistent training for almost six months. Once he was able to get back into regular training, the Sounders were nearly out of reserve league matches for him to prove himself, so they sent him on loan to the Fort Lauderdale Strikers of the North American Soccer League.
And while he won’t be seeing any time with the Sounders as they close out the 2012 MLS regular season and the CONCACAF Champions League group stage, he still has something to be very optimistic about this weekend as the 23-year-old launches the Kingdom Finder Foundation with the goal of providing educational opportunities to children in his native Ghana.
“Since I was a kid I’ve always wanted to go back to my country and help the kids,” Tetteh smiled. “Finally everything is coming together and I want to build a school back in Ghana to help empower the kids over there.”
This Saturday, the Kingdom Finder Foundation will hold their first official fundraiser at a kids clinic on the Microsoft campus. There, children of Microsoft employees will team with Sounders FC players for a 90-minute clinic, followed by a 5v5 tournament for Microsoft employees. It is all part of the Microsoft Gift of Caring program and will provide a kick start to Tetteh’s foundation.
“It will be a really fun day for me and for the foundation and it will give me an opportunity to share my vision and what I want to do when soccer is over,” he said.
The silver lining to Tetteh’s difficult season has been that he has been able to put his efforts into building the Kingdom Finder Foundation. In constructing his vision, he used two models – Steve Zakuani’s Kingdom Hope Foundation and the Right to Dream Football Academy, through which Tetteh came to America seeking an opportunity to progress in his soccer career.
Unlike the Right to Dream, though, Tetteh will be involving much more than just soccer in his vision to help children who are just like him in his home country.
“I don’t want to restrict it to soccer. I want to build a school,” Tetteh said. “That set the foundation for me and it’s my responsibility to go back to my country and do the same thing. It’s my duty to go back and do the same thing for the kids.”
This weekend will be a rewarding one for Tetteh, who played three seasons at the University of California-Santa Barbara after three years at Dunn School in Los Olivos, California.
“It’s something I’ve really dedicated my life to doing and disciplined myself to do it. Finally I’ve been able to get it done and being here has given me a lot of exposure to be able to get that done,” Tetteh said. “I’m excited it’s finally coming together.”
For more information about the Kingdom Finder Foundation and to contribute, visit www.kingdomfinder.org.