International Flair

Rasmus Berg

You may not immediately think of Central Community College as a destination for international students. However, you might find it interesting to know 20 international soccer players are on the rosters for 2022-23. There are 14 on the men’s side and six on the women’s side.

One of the first questions that people ask when they learn that international players are at CCC is: “How did you end up here?” For men’s soccer players Rasmus Berg of Odense, Denmark, and Paul Kelling of Hamburg, Germany, they both were contacted by agencies that specialize in bringing athletes to the United States.

Paul Kelling

“I played a few games for this agency, and they created a highlight video and sent it to coaches in the U.S.,” said Kelling. “Former CCC head coach Hawken Hanna contacted me and said he wanted to sign me.”

Berg had a similar experience before signing with the college, but unlike the majority of CCC student-athletes, he did not tour the campus first.

“I just came here whenever it was time to show up for soccer,” Berg said. “I didn’t know what I was getting into but it’s quite a nice place with very good facilities.”

Clara Reis

CCC women’s soccer player Clara Reis searched out a U.S. college to play soccer at and get an education as that was not a possibility in her hometown of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She eventually began emailing CCC head women’s coach Jamie Bennett, who put her in contact with other Brazilian players who played for the Raiders.

“CCC ended up being the best opportunity for me and my family because I really felt at home,” said Reis. “I didn’t want to leave myhome country and be in a place where I don’t belong, and I feel like I belong here. All the staff at CCC treated me so well.”

The majors and career goals of these players are as unique as the countries as they come from. Both Berg and Reis are undecided on majors, but Reis is leaning toward business and becoming a CEO. Berg would like to venture into a career involving business and communications. Kelling is a business administration major and would like to go into sports management, possibly for a soccer club. All three say the learning environment at CCC is a great setting to get started.
In addition to new ways of life and learning, CCC’s international players have had to learn how to adjust to American soccer versus the way soccer is played in their respective countries. For example, Kelling said that soccer in Germany is more technical while the pace of U.S. soccer is much faster.“In Germany, it’s all about the team,” said Kelling. “Here in the U.S., it seems we rely on individuals and individual moments.”

CCC head men’s soccer coach Luis Pulido said the international players bring a new perspective to the team which is a positive.

“It’s nice to have an opportunity to bring them here to play on a college soccer team,” Pulido said. “They have different backgrounds and styles of play, and we get to come together through soccer.”

Bennett said while he doesn’t specifically recruit international players, he will take them whenever they arrive. “We try to find the best players that we can, whether that’s from Columbus, Nebraska, or Rio De Janeiro.”

CCC Men's Soccer International Players

  • Billy Allison - London, England
  • Archie Alvarez - London, England
  • Rasmus Berg - Odense, Denmark
  • Lorenzo Cardoso - Sao Paola, Brazil
  • Syrus Conolly - Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
  • Max Devine - Paisley, Scotland
  • Comilo Herrera - Bogota, Colombia
  • Paul Kelling - Hamburg, Germany
  • Charlie Orslfer - Wrexham, Whales
  • Amin Rahmoune - Baxtel, Netherlands
  • Tobias Sereinig - Rosenbach, Austria
  • Ben Soave - Forfar, Scotland
  • Niklas Thiel - Enger Germany
  • Daniel Wallace - Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

CCC Women's Soccer International Players

  • Steph Adby - Herne Bay, England
  • Lara Eckwert - Seeheim Jugenheim, Germany
  • Katana Gould - Greatstone, England
  • Lucia Kreysing - Munich, Germany
  • Clara Reis - Niteroi, Rio de Janerio
  • Lilli Reiser - Enger, Germany