Foster High’s soccer coach Nasir Tura learned to play soccer kicking pieces of plastic around the streets of Nairobi, Kenya, as a kid.
Eventually, life brought him to Tukwila, where he graduated from Foster in 2006. He was captain of the boys soccer team his junior and senior years.
Today, he stands in Foster Stadium watching his girls soccer team prepare for a season he says “should be fun,” with 10 seniors and seven incoming freshmen, compared to one freshman last year. In all 22 girls turned out for the team.
This is Tura’s third year as girls coach; he was Seamount Coach of the Year in 2011.
The Seamount season kicks off against Lindbergh High on Tuesday, Sept. 17, a match senior captain Sierra Parsons says is going to be tough.
But the team is ready and she’s excited.
“All the girls are really motivated,” she said.
Tura has a promise for the freshmen, if they remain on the team throughout their high school career and work consistently.
“If they are here for those four years, I guarantee I can make them a college player,” he said, at least at the community-college level.
Tura has extensive background as a player and coach, including semi-pro teams. For six years, he’s coached the successful Foster boys soccer team, which has played at state and won the league title in 2007.
Ann Broom has been the assistant girls coach for five years. She’s seen the team develop and the style of play change.
“There is a focus on individual creativity, and finesse within team chemistry,” she said. “Nasir wants the players loose, as though they are able to dance, which they are.”
Last year the girls made it to the playoffs but lost to the Sumner, the eventual state champion.
“We had a great season, with different players peaking in performance until the end,” Tura said.
Parsons, Amna Hadzihasanovic, Andrea O’Neil and Lorena Ramirez are among his key returning players, he said. Parsons plays forward, but she said she’ll play defense against the tough teams.
Last year, the girls rafted, hiked and road bikes together and watched a Sounders match to help build team spirit. Every other Friday, they had a dinner and movie night.
“The plan for this season is to do even more team bonding, because team chemistry will be the key for our success,” Tura said.
Having the Starfire soccer complex nearby with the Sounders and Seattle Reign has helped boost the team, too.
“The atmosphere is contagious,” he said.
Tura said he’ll do some rebuilding this year, because of the graduation of his seniors. He’ll go out recruiting, especially among the international communities at Foster.
“It’s OK for the girls to play soccer out here,” he said. “Girls can do anything.” And sports, he said, is a way for girls to become involved in the community.