DUSC is proud of our diversity — a microcosm of our great city — with players, coaches and staff from countries around the globe. This mosaic of cultures, styles and beliefs makes for good soccer, and great people.

Mali is a landlocked country in sub-Saharan west Africa known for its music, its cuisine — and its obsession with soccer. It’s also the birthplace of beloved coach Oumou Toure, who despite her youth, has been a fixture at the club for over a decade.

This summer, Oumou visited Mali. As a young girl she had moved to New York City, following her mom, a chef and restaurateur who had immigrated here to open an African restaurant in Harlem. This was her first time returning, a trip she made with her sister and a cousin.

As a DUSC coach, Oumou was very familiar with Soccer Recycle, an initiative with which the club partners to collect and distribute gently used soccer uniforms and equipment internationally where they are needed. She asked Program Director Adam Norse if he had any equipment she herself could distribute in Mali and he was happy to help, finding her four teams worth of uniforms from our Recreation League.

“When I got there, they didn’t even have pinnies, let alone uniforms. As a DUSC coach it was all so different to me; how did they know who was on the team?” It was an eye opener for a coach used to the privileged environs of downtown Manhattan. “Instead of cleats they were all wearing water shoes to play. The field was just dirt.” 

But the smiles were same, and the joy, the universal language of our game. “They were so happy to get the uniforms and I was so happy to be able to provide them.” The DUSC spirit is spread wide, from here to Timbuktu, and beyond.