Hmong people’s presence in the sports world is growing – last year, Olympic gymnast Suni Lee made history by becoming the first Hmong American to win a gold medal on the artistic gymnastics floor. Shifting to soccer, a 21-year-old midfielder for Columbus Crew 2, Michael Vang, is one of the first professional Hmong players in the country.
Raised in the city of Saint Paul in Minnesota, Michael was surrounded by a soccer-obsessed family, perhaps inspired by his father’s interest in the sport. Before moving to the United States, his father coached at the club level in France. He founded soccer leagues and clubs in the small Minnesota suburb after discovering his children’s enthusiasm for the sport.
Scouts from the Major League Soccer (MLS) have taken notice of Vang’s debut in 2020, and he began his professional career as a forward for Madison FC.
Michael and his three older siblings used to play at Harding High School. His brother Brian now plays with Michigan Stars FC. His older sisters Maddie and Chelsea, are also exceptional soccer players.
The Crew 2 will play a doubleheader at Lower.com Field on Saturday, May 21 at 7:00pm.