Raimo de Vries didn’t play or live in Philadelphia during his soccer career but the city he now calls home factors in heavily in his history both on and off the soccer pitch.
De Vries came to the U.S. from the Netherlands to pursue an education and play college soccer at Wake Forest for Philly soccer legend Walt Chyzowych, who played at Temple and for the Philadelphia Ukrainian Nationals and coached at Philadelphia Textile (now Jefferson University) as well as the U.S. men’s national team.
“It would take a long time to describe my emotions and my gratitude for Walt,” Raimo said. “But he was such a passionate person about soccer. If you think of memories I ended up popping in in his office every day and just hearing his stories...He was a great father figure for me.”
While still helping out with the team as a pro playing for the Raleigh Flyers, de Vries was introduced to a field hockey coach named Kerry Horgan by another familiar name in Philadelphia soccer named John Hackworth. Hackworth, of course, would later go on to coach the Philadelphia Union and help launch the academy Raimo and Kerry’s son Jack de Vries would join years later in pursuit of a dream to follow his father’s footsteps into Major League Soccer.
“It’s interesting how with soccer there is a red thread running through our lives,” he said.
De Vries talks about his journey and “passing the baton” onto his 18-year-old son in the latest episode of The Path Podcast.