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Forward Madison’s Vang continues to shine on the pitch while making U.S. soccer history

Michael Vang is an upcoming soccer star, he's already played over seas and accomplished something special in the United States all before turning 20-years-old.

Vang continues to be a spark plug on the pitch for Forward Madison FC this season, in his first season with the team.

"The mentality he brings to the field, and the vision that he has with the ball, his passing ability is very good," said Flamingos head coach Daryl Shore.

Vang, a St. Paul, MN native has already played over seas for a fourth-division team in the Campeonato de Portugal. A place were Asian-Americans don't get a ton of respect on the soccer field.

"Over there they don't really see soccer as popular as Europe," said Vang. "That's why I think they already thought that 'oh he's from America? He's not good enough.'"

Vang returned to the U.S. and tried out for Forward Madison. He made the team and some history in the process. He became the first Hmong American to play professionally in the U.S.

Minnesota and Wisconsin have two of the largest Hmong populations in the country, Vang uses soccer to inspire the next generation of Hmong players.

"I have a lot of Hmong kids that look up to me in the community. I just try to be a role model for them," said Vang.

He isn't just catching the eyes of younger players but scouts at higher levels, even Major League Soccer.

"If he keeps progressing the way he has been we are going to see Mike Vang play on Saturdays somewhere big in the near future," said Shore.

Vang was named to the USL League One Team of The Week.

Alec Ausmus

Sports reporter

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