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Menelik Watson: From soccer fan in the UK to the NFL | THE SIDELINE

Menelik Watson

Photo Credit: 
USA Today Sports

In a bit of role reversal from what you usually read about here at MLSsoccer.com — American soccer players signing for clubs in England and Europe — today we've got the tale of a 6-foot-6, 330-pound American football offensive lineman, who just so happens to come from Manchester, England, and just so happens to support Manchester City.

In part one of an exclusive interview with the official Man. City club website, recently drafted Oakland Raiders offensive tackle Menelik Watson reveals he supported the blue side of Manchester as a child and that the beautiful game was his first love. 

Said Watson: “I used to love football — when I was growing up, all I wanted to do was play for City. When I broke my ankle I was devastated. I was 13 years old and told that I shouldn’t play sports again, especially not football. I didn’t know what to do. So it was great that I found basketball and that took me to Spain and America."

Watson may currently reside on the west coast with the Raiders, but perhaps the connection between his beloved City and Major League Soccer's newly announced 20th team, New York City FC, will spark his interest in the rapidly growing league.