Photo Credit: FC Cincinnati
The chances of a kid becoming a pro athlete are extremely low, which always makes it a big deal for a family when they have one of their own make it. For the Ameobi family, they are an extremely rare case. FC Cincinnati’s Tomi and his brothers, Shola and Sammy, all play soccer professionally.
Tomi explains that it was a schoolmate of his older brother, Shola, that got the family started in the beautiful game, rather than his dad or a family member. After he began playing the sport, it was Shola that urged Tomi and Sammy to pick up the game.
All three Ameobi brothers began their professional careers in their native England, Tomi with Leeds United and Shola and Sammy both with Newcastle United. Shola, a club legend, made over 300 appearances, scoring more than 50 goals for the Toon and Sammy had a seven year stint at Tyneside before signing with Bolton Wanderers last year. Despite being a Liverpool supporter, Tomi, a former NUFC youth player, grew up watching Newcastle United because of his brothers. The club finished top-ten in the EPL in their first year after promotion. “They had a really good year with pretty much an average Premier League team. They managed to get themselves into the top half, which is something they can be proud of,” the middle brother says.
With two other brothers playing professional soccer, what has Tomi learned from them? “Starting with Sammy, how not to cut your hair. He’s had some pretty horrible hairdos. But to be honest, from my older brother, and Sammy too, just the application to do your work on a daily basis,” shares Tomi. “When things are going your way and when they aren’t going your way, to keep doing the right things and success will come.” Off the pitch, Tomi says he is definitely the best cook of the trio. “I fancy myself a bit of a chef,” he adds.
Sticking with food, after playing in England, Iceland, Finland, and Canada, Tomi says he’s been impressed with the diversity of restaurants and also culture in the United States. He says, “There’s quite a diverse amount of restaurants and I’m a bit of a foodie.”
“There’s a lot of cool places to visit, like San Fran, New York, Miami, and you get to experience different cultures within the states. That’s probably something I haven’t experienced in the other places I’ve played.”
Playing in Cincinnati, one of the things most associated with the southern Ohio city is chili. Has he made his Skyline Chili debut yet? “Not yet, I’m told I should only have it when we have a couple days off after because it kind of sits in your stomach for awhile. But, a little bird told me Gold Star is better than Skyline, but I’m still yet to try either,” he answers.