George Achard is an 11th-grade striker for the Mars Hill boys soccer team. He moved to the United States from Burma seven years ago and has had to adjust to new cuisine and weather. Mars Hill hosts Florence tonight in a special game supporting breast cancer awareness. The teams will wear pink jerseys that will be auctioned off along with many other items, including a Nick Saban autographed football, to raise money for breast cancer research. Part of the ticket sales will also go toward cancer research.
What are some of the differences between the United States and Burma?
In Burma, I never played soccer on an actual team, I just played with my friends on the streets and stuff. It’s more organized here. The weather also changes here from time to time. It’s warm all year round in Burma, and it was tough getting used to cold weather in the winter here. I had never played soccer in the cold. But I’ve gotten used to it now.
What about differences in cuisine from Burma and the United States?
We mainly eat rice in Burma, with a bunch of side items. I still eat it here almost every day. We didn’t really eat burgers or anything like that in Burma.
Do you have a favorite new food items in America that you didn’t get in Burma?
I would probably have to go with steak. I really enjoy a good steak. Different types of food area a lot easier to get here than in Burma, so I enjoy that.
Do you have a favorite professional soccer team and player either in America or abroad?
I love Real Madrid, that’s got to be my favorite team, by far. I’ve always been a huge Real Madrid fan. And I’ll take (Real Madrid striker) Cristiano Ranaldo (as my favorite player), he’s pretty awesome. He’s been my favorite for a long time, even when he was with Manchester United. I look at his tricks and try to imitate them on the field. But they usually don’t work as well.
How special is tonight’s breast cancer awareness game against Florence?
It’s pretty special. It’s more than just a game. We’re playing in memory of people that either have cancer now or have had cancer. Both teams are playing in honor and memory of them. I think that’s pretty cool.