Who is Alemu Mercer Miko? From Spain, to North Carolina, to lastly, the Falls


Colin Stevenson

Business management senior Alemu Mercer Miko has transferred to MSU from Campbell University in North Carolina, Feb. 8.

With the new year comes a new soccer player for the MSU men’s soccer team. Business management senior, Alemu Mercer Miko, from Mallorca, Spain has been at Midwestern for just a little under a month. 

“I’m originally from Africa. My brother and I were in an orphanage when we were adopted and then taken to Mallorca, Spain; the largest island among the three of the Islas Baleares. I was just four years old when my parents adopted us…I grew up in Mallorca and was there until I was 18…so basically my entire life. It was a really big change but a change for the better of course. My parents were in Ethiopia for around a month to also understand our culture and where we were coming from,” Mercer said.

Though being his first year in Texas, this is not Mercer’s first year in the States. He was just 18, fresh out of high school when he first came to the U.S. and attended Campbell University, in Buies Creek, North Carolina.

“When I first came to the U.S. I went to North Carolina to play for Campbell. It was a very rural area, we didn’t have much; Wichita Falls is a lot bigger than where I was.  Whenever I needed to get food, we would have to drive like 20 to 40 minutes to encounter something; anything. While playing for Campbell, we won two championships and made it to the second round. At first, playing soccer for Campbell was difficult but little by little, we came together and made a great team. Now, I’m at MSU with my final year of eligibility to play,” Mercer said.

Assistant men’s soccer coach, Ross Fitzpatrick, reached out to Mercer and informed him of the success of the MSU soccer program, from winning championships to national tournaments. Overall, Mercer said he was able to tell how much the team simply enjoyed playing. From the age of 10 to 18, Mercer’s life consisted purely of soccer. He highlighted the international differences he had to adapt to while playing in the U.S.

“In Spain, playing soccer is more complicated than here. It’s more difficult to get to where you want to be, and even more if you study on top of that, versus how things are done in the U.S. where both academics and the sport are both given equal importance. I think it’s very good because while I was in Spain, all I did was play soccer. My whole life was soccer. The biggest difference in playing soccer in Spain versus the U.S. is the style of training. It’s more physical, more gym. I’m used to more technical and working off of talent, there are more people and opportunities here so they are able to work more physical with their bodies and not just by playing soccer,” Mercer said.

Mercer, although still settling in, is so far, content with his decision of transferring to MSU. The environment and being surrounded by other Latinos has helped eased his transition to Midwestern State. A few MSU soccer players have either graduated and or transferred so there is a new look to the team. Mercer said he’s enjoying the team and getting to know one another.

“It’s almost like a new team, it can be difficult because you have to adapt to playing and being with one another…but, there’s a lot of good people on the team and that’s the most important thing to me; without that you can’t win. Furthermore, the chemistry within the boys on the team is also strong. A lot of us are Latinos, so we are able to understand each other…there’s also a few from Europe, so there’s good diversity on the team. Since we are in spring, we have time to get to know each other before the official season starts. I think we can really do some damage with the team we have this year. We have strong technical players, aggressive ones, and ones that play from literally their head to their toe. I think we can become champions,” Mercer said.

Mercer plays mid field offense. He says he enjoys how fast pace soccer can be and likes taking opportunities to make a goal when having the ball in possession. 

Business management senior Alemu Miko lived in Mallorca, Spain for a large majority of his life before coming to the United States, Feb. 8.
Business management senior Alemu Miko lived in Mallorca, Spain for a large majority of his life before coming to the United States, Feb. 8. (Colin Stevenson)

“Of course, just like most people, we all start playing just by being kids wanting to play with their friends, then sooner or later, it becomes a hobby. When I started playing more then got the call about an opportunity to play with elite teams, we all supported each other…That’s when, I started realizing like hey, I can make a living doing this. It was up until I was 18 that I was focused on that. When I saw that I was getting promoted, and traveling to play soccer, I just really saw that I could live like this forever,” Mercer said.

After graduation, Mercer would like to play soccer professionally. To him, it doesn’t matter if he’s playing in League one or two, he just knows he wants to play professionally. This summer, Mercer will be playing with a semi-professional team in Tennessee.

“There’s so many opportunities to play soccer professionally here in America. I love that. If I do well and people come to see us, there’s always more than one way to get to where you want to be,” Mercer said.