When you have a father in the military, moving around is to be expected.
Originally from San Francisco, Rico Brown, a midfielder for the American River College men’s soccer team, moved to Germany with his parents when he was only two years old. The Browns spent 16 years there because of his father’s military enlistment, and moved back to the United States eight months ago.
Fluent in German, Brown’s second language is English, so he speaks with a thick, deep-voiced accent.
Before moving to Sacramento, Brown played for the St. Pauli’s soccer club, a team in the second division of German professional soccer. He then played for Holstein Kiel, a team in the third division.
As an athlete, Brown had the capabilities to compete in other sports, but growing up playing soccer in Germany allowed him to face top competition.
“In Germany, soccer is number one sport,” Brown said. “In the United States, there’s football, basketball, more choices.”
Now Brown plays left wing, a position on the midfield, and the compliments from his coach are well deserved.
“He is one of our more skilled players,” ARC head soccer coach Paul Hansen said.
Along with his skill set, Brown also possesses superior dribbling moves, and being one of the more athletically gifted players allows him to beat defenders by skill or speed. But his game is not all finesse, as Brown likes to remind.
“He’s a risk-taker, he likes to take people one-on-one,” Hansen said.
Even though he is a risk-taker, Brown isn’t greedy with the ball.
“Goals aren’t important to me.” Brown said.
Brown has scored just two goals this season, however he is leading the team in assists this year with a total of five and is only behind freshmen goal leader Luis Arce and Jessy Vega in points.
The midfielders’ main focus on the field is to possess the ball, taking the ball from defenders and passing it to the forwards and strikers. Even though they are not stopping the goals or scoring them directly, they arguably have the most influence in the outcome of a game.
Along with adjusting to his new team this year he is also adjusting to living here in the United States.
“I’m not used to the weather out here,” Brown said. “Its way too hot here, I like the cold.”
Anther adjustment Brown is going through is driving.
“The driving age in Germany is 18 so it’s sort of new to me,” Brown said.
Even though he is getting used to American life, part of his heart remains in Germany. He misses his friends and family, stating that is father is here in the states, but his mother still lives in Germany.
For his goals on the field and for the team, Brown only wants to win. “I don’t like losing,” Brown said. “I want us to win the championship, I want to be on top.”