Sporting Kansas City defender Kevin Ellis spoke to Cross The Line about his MLS perspective and personal walk with God.
So was Soccer always the dream as you grew up or did you have other ambitions?
“I played every sport you could imagine when I was a kid and I knew I wanted to be an athlete but it was not until high school that I really started to want to just focus on soccer.”
You made quite a splash for Sporting Kansas Juniors at the SUM Cup in 07, is this when you really believed that you could make it as a pro?
“Yes definitely, it really solidified my thoughts that I could make it.”
Tell us how you first encountered God for yourself.
“To cut a long story short, I was fifteen years old and my mum got really sick, we were not sure that she would make it through the night. So I prayed and prayed and before I went to sleep a feeling came over me and the only thing that was in my head was that she would be ok. She was able to live for five more years.”
Is there any club in world football that you follow, outside of the US?
“Yes definitely, my favourite team in the world is AC Milan.”
Who is the best player you have ever played against to date?
“Thierry Henry for sure, not only is he a great player but also a great guy as well.”
In your eyes, what excites you most about the MLS right now?
“Definitely the fans, just seeing the support in every city that we play in is incredible and it grows every year.”
How does God feature in your match-day routine?
“I like to read scripture in the locker room before games.”
What has been your best moment with Sporting Kansas if you had to narrow it down?
“For me it would be scoring my first MLS goal and being able to dedicate it to my good friend Kit who is a four-year-old with cancer. Being able to see how happy that made her and her family was really special.”
Do you connect with any other Christian players in the MLS?
“Yes, what is great about Sporting Kansas is that there are a lot of Christians on the team.”
How do you deal with the scrutiny that defenders get put under for making mistakes, which ultimately cost goals?
“It is hard at times to hear criticism from fans and media but nobody is perfect and so I take it as a challenge and strive to be the best that I can be on the field.”
What advice would you give to young Christian footballers starting out in their careers?
“My advice would be to always rely on your faith and make sure that you continue to build your relationship with God everyday because it will keep you grounded when you begin to have success. Then it will never let you get too low when you have setbacks. Another good piece of advice is to have a short memory because there will always be another game to play.”