Arsenal’s 15-year-old American-born midfielder Ukasyah Wallace says he hopes that by 2018, he’s accomplished an impressive ‘double’: Playing in the Premier League and winning a place with the U.S. National Team.
Ukasyah ‘Cash’ Nasrullah Wallace marked his Gunner trial this summer with four impressive showings throughout Singapore’s Lion City Cup. The 6’4” Wallace was superb for Arsenal. Wallace was deployed as center half and defensive midfielder against SC Corinthians, Eintracht Frankfurt (twice) and a Singapore All-star squad. Wallace gained praise from Arsenal scouts for his composure on the ball and technical skills. Arsenal wasted little time in offering the imposing talent an official spot in its London based academy.
Wallace possess outstanding athletic talent. His father was a collegiate star at Auburn University. “My dad grew up in Atlanta, Georgia and was a top athlete for Auburn University, he met my mother who is from Brunei,” Wallace told OWTY in conversation this week. The Wallace household was truly global. “I was born in Los Angeles, California in 1998. From there we’ve lived in Australia, New Zealand, and France briefly before moving to the United Kingdom in 2001.”
Wallace played every sport growing up. He dabbled in Cricket, Rugby, American Football, Field Hockey before finally settling on Soccer. “I have played football since I could walk or remember.”
Wallace’s father has been an integral part of his success thus far. “Through training with my dad at young age I began to realize that I was blessed with a gift, but I am aware that only through hard-work and practice will my potential be fully realized, but success at football is definitely a possibility.”
Prior to Arsenal Wallace excelled within Southampton and Reading youth academies. Wallace was quick to point out to OWTY that his development would not have been possible without his stints at these clubs. “I have really enjoyed being at these top academies, it has made me the player I am today.”
Due to his large frame he was originally pegged as a goalkeeper, but his technical ability with the ball and vision saw him quickly shed the keepers gloves for the field. “I play center midfield and center half for Arsenal right now, but prefer it in midfield,” Wallace told OWTY. “I find it more comfortable there [in the midfield], I guess I realized I am really good with the ball at my feet and sending passes across the pitch, that’s why Arsenal is such a good fit for me.” Wallace continued, “I model my game after players like Paul Pogba, Yaya Toure and Steven Gerrad, I like the ball at my feet and like to get forward, but understand the importance of being a two-way player.”
Wallace has continued his strong play with the Gunners following his successful tournament in Asia. He has become a fixture for the Arsenal U15 side. “We play all the best clubs in England and our season is going really well.”
Throughout our interview it was apparent just how American Cash is. While his travels have taken him around the globe it is clear he still has strong ties to his birth country. “I would love to play for United States and will be in contact with them shortly. My agent knows a lot of people including a number of coaches in the US youth set up. Hopefully I’m going over there soon to play for them.” While Wallace envisions a bright future at Arsenal he also has his sights set on long international career. “In five years my ambition is to go to the World Cup with the United States in 2018 and to hopefully be playing in the Premier League.”
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