Micheal Azira - Chicago Fire - walks off the field - smiling

Micheal Azira has carved out a long career in MLS, and now he's giving back to his roots.

A profile in the Chicago Tribune on Thursday traced Azira's journey from his native Uganda to MLS and now back again. The Chicago Fire midfielder co-founded the Pearl of Africa Youth Organization, which combines soccer with an emphasis on education for children in Uganda.

“We said, ‘Let’s try something, let’s try to find a way we can help the needy,’ because mostly there are low-income-family kids back home,” Azira said in the profile. “We built this platform to give kids the opportunity to express themselves and to be able to pursue their dreams through soccer and through education.”

For Azira, who had to skip breakfast to afford cleats as a kid, his life has been transformed by education and soccer. If you want to read more about the player's story and his charitable efforts in Uganda, be sure to check out the profile in the Chicago Tribune.