Faris Rahic: Chicago Magic Star Now Recruited for the U-18 Bosnian National Soccer Team

By Marija Kraljevic, Arts and Entertainment and Photo Editor

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Running down the field, as fast as a lightning bolt, he dribbles past the defenders. His legs aching from all the conditioning he endured during training, he pushes through the pain with his mind set on the ball and launching it into the top right corner of the goal. He shoots with his right foot and the ball soars through the air, the goalkeeper oblivious as the ball travels over his head and into the white nylon net. The crowd goes wild as they yell his name. He celebrates with his teammates and looks to his family on the sidelines, smiles on their faces and their undying love for their son visible. This is a typical routine for soccer star and junior Faris Rahic.

Rahic has had a love for the sport ever since he was only five years old, it’s been something that he’s played every day on a daily basis and grown to treasure it. He’s been playing for 11 years and nothing has ever driven him away from his passion of playing.

“I wanted to be known and show people that I can achieve whatever I want to in order to be able to succeed in my career,” Rahic said. “When I first touched the ball, the sport became something I never wanted to stop playing. It gave me the passion and ambition to work hard and not give up, no matter what I might go through in the sport.”

Rahic has played for numerous clubs around the Chicago-land area. As a young athlete, he joined Chicago Lakefront and played there for a couple of years. He then progressed and played for a Bosnia Youth soccer team based in Chicago which he still plays for to this day. After playing for the Chicago Lakefront, he joined Chicago Fire Academy for around two and a half years and moved on to FC United Academy. Once he played for FC United Academy for about two years, he found his new home at Chicago Magic which he is now entering his second year playing for the club.

Rahic is a Bosnian-American with his parents immigrating from Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. With many of his family members still living in Sarajevo, Rahic typically goes down to the country to visit them. He’s never afraid to express his love and pride in his nationality, especially when it connects with soccer.

“It took a lot of hard work for me to be called up for the Bosnian national team, it’s not easy and it’s primarily more difficult when you’re going against kids who play pro all over Europe,” Rahic said. “I was focused and determined to show my best to the coaches and scouts because I wanted to prove I am better than the players who already play for the national team.”

As Rahic continued to work hard while being in the United States and playing for his current club, he earned the opportunity to be scouted by an agent who coaches a professional team in Bosnia as well. The agent sent clips of his games to the head coaches of the Bosnian National Team. The coaches were quite pleased with Rahic’s performance and the way he played, which convinced them to choose him for the camp.

After receiving the news that Rahic would be playing in the camp for the national team, his family celebrated and praised his success in his soccer career thus far.

“My family and I were ecstatic for him but we weren’t surprised because we knew this would come,” cousin and junior Aida Mehicevic said. “He’s always been very talented and we’re so happy he’s finally getting the recognition he deserves.”

The overall process and journey of the camp was unlike anything he’d ever experienced before. He was constantly being tested and encouraged to push harder by the coaches to unveil his full potential.

“They treated us as professionals as they wanted to give us and experience that the main national team players experience very time they put on the Bosnian jersey,” Rahic said. “We had two practices everyday, one in the morning, and one in the afternoon.”

Rahic and other athletes participating in the camp focused on ball work and small sided games in the morning, while in the afternoon they would work on scrimmages so that the coaches could observe and discuss which players they’ll take to play for the under 18 national team. On the last day of the camp, the players were tested on body weight, stability, speed, height, jumps, muscle mass, and etc.

“The style of play was very different because they had kids play professionally in Europe and have been taught many years the right way of soccer,” Rahic said. “Having to go against them was difficult at first but I was able to put myself ahead of them and show everyone that I have what it takes to be on the national team, and the coaches were very happy with my performance.”

After completing the exciting and challenging days of the Bosnian national team camp, word was out in Sarajevo that a player from Chicago had come to be recruited for the national team. Rahic was posted all over Facebook after being invited for the national team camp.

This caught the attention of the Bosnians there because it shocked them to discover that a kid from America was able to get called up for the camp. Rahic performed at a high standard at the camp which impressed the coaches, as many athletes that come from America to their trials don’t perform as good as they want them to.

More rumors eventually spread throughout the clubs and people in Sarajevo, which caught the attention of the people working for the main talk show in Bosnia. The talk show is known as “Jutro Za Sve” and they decided to invite Rahic onto the show because his high end performance was able to shock the people of Bosnia and his ability to adjust very well to the expectations of the Bosnian national team camp.

“My experience on the talk show was totally shocking for me because I was able to put myself out there and catch attention to clubs and coaches. I never expected to be on a famous talk show but with the hard work and my ability to focus during my trial camp, it paid off,” Rahic said. “I was able to make myself known and to make myself clear to people that anything is possible with hard work put into it.”

As he previously played for the varsity soccer team at Niles West, Rahic was a key factor in their standings throughout the season. One of the closest bonds he had with one of the athletes created one of the greatest dynamic offensive duo of the team.

“We connected really well on and off the field, our similar play styles helped us to compete with each other as well. When I would do something good, he’d try to beat that and the same with me,” former teammate and senior Ilija Jerinic said. “I played attacking mid-field and he was striker, it helped us link up together because we were so close to each other all the time. We were always competitive and constantly pushed each other to do better.”

Rahic’s impact on his friends and family reflect upon his soccer talent and never go unnoticed by anyone.

“He’s a great cousin, incredibly thoughtful, and very determined. He always makes sure he has time for friends and family despite his tight schedule due to soccer. He’s an incredible athlete and his hard work is finally paying off,” Mehicevic said.

With such success, passion, and dedication, Rahic doesn’t plan on stopping. He plans to use the momentum he has to hopefully kickstart his career with the Bosnian national soccer team and play with the big leagues in the future.

“My goal in life is to play for the Bosnian national team to represent my country in tournaments all around the world and to show myself to clubs in Europe and create myself a future,” Rahic said. “My other goal is to move anywhere in Europe to start my career for soccer and get called for the national team and then build my skills and prepare myself for challenges that will come my way later on.”