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YSC Academy grad and Unity Cup star Daniel Yallah loses battle with liver cancer

The 19-year-old Liberia native played locally for Philadelphia Lone Star, Cavalla FC, the Philadelphia Union Academy, FC Delco and for Team Liberia

Daniel Yallah playing in a friendly between the Philadelphia Union U19s and West Chester United in April 2018
Photo by Matt Ralph

Daniel Yallah lost his courageous and inspiring battle with liver cancer Friday morning, leaving behind an irreplaceable void in a soccer community that drew strength from his positive outlook and unwavering faith.

The 19-year-old was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer back in July but was determined to fight the disease with everything he had while continuing to play the game he loved.

He was part of another title-winning Philadelphia International Unity Cup campaign with Team Liberia and had a lifelong dream fulfilled signing a one-day contract with the Philadelphia Union on a day he also got to brag about stealing the ball from Ilsinho in training.

A Liberia native, Yallah arrived in Philadelphia in 2015 and made a name for himself playing for Cavalla FC and Philadelphia Lone Star before joining the Union Academy, enrolling in classes at YSC Academy and playing in the U.S. Development Academy with FC Delco.

He graduated from YSC Academy in 2019, delivering a a moving commencement speech in which he talked about overcoming struggles in life, his faith and his dream to become a social worker and help others get through difficult circumstances in life.

Yallah’s legacy will live on for those who knew him, played with or against him or had the privilege of seeing him compete. His passion for playing the game even as it got increasingly harder for him, his faith, determination and desire to help others and support his younger brother and sister will be impossible to forget.

To make a donation to the Yallah Trust Fund for Daniel’s younger brother and sister, visit www.gofundme.com/f/yallahtrustfund.