PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Fafa Picault has been one of the Philadelphia Union’s best players.
His real name is Fabrice but he is known as Fafa. His mother gave him the name as a baby and it just stuck.
“In school, a lot of teachers couldn’t say Fabrice the way I liked, so I would tell them just call me Fafa. On my assignment, I’d just write Fafa, no last name,” he said.
And Fafa is not just a unique name, he’s unique in that he speaks seven different languages and coach Jim Curtin said it helps communication on the field of play.
“Whether he’s speaking to one of our French players, or he can go Spanish, can quickly change and take in information. Obviously, he’s an intelligent kid. I think it’s partly because of the military background. I think he’s been a lot of different places and traveled a lot in his life,” Curtin said.
Fafa’s father Leslie served as a marine, where the Union midfielder gets his discipline.
“My father, having a marine background, it’s always been a part of me. I always felt like a mini marine,” Fafa said.
And after his father served, he played professional soccer and for the Philadelphia Fever of the Major Indoor Soccer League.
“We’ve been training basically since I could walk,” Fafa said.
While his father is often in the stands supporting his son , this weekend, along with other veterans and active service men and women, he will be honored on “Military Appreciation Night,” when the Union host Real Salt Lake.
“I’ve seen how he raised me and everything he did with his life just to make sure that I had a good life and I think that comes from his background of putting others first to serve and definitely protect,” Fafa explained. “Now, it’s my chance to repay him through my life, by giving everything I have, day in and day out, to show him that I’m thankful for what he’s done for me.”