SoccerWire is publishing Q&A articles with players who have Featured Profiles in the SoccerWire Recruiting Directory. The series allows players to share their stories on the college recruiting process, playing the game at the international level, travel and high school soccer, and their passion for the beautiful game.

In this edition we will showcase Emil Cerimovic, who plays travel soccer in MLS NEXT for FC United and recently participated in a camp with the Bosnia and Herzegovina under-17 Youth National Team.

Emil Cerimovic


Cerimovic plays up two years for FC United’s U19 team in MLS NEXT.

SoccerWire: What made you decide to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina and what was going through your mind when you received your first call-up?

Emil Cerimovic: The opportunity to represent Bosnia and Herzegovina was a blend of heritage and personal ambition. During the 2023 Thanksgiving camp in Saint Louis, MO, organized by US Soccer Education from Colorado the U17 Bosnian MNT coach approached me, recognizing my potential to contribute to the team. With my parents being US citizens from Bosnia and still having ties there, the offer to obtain dual citizenship and play for my ancestral homeland was a momentous one.

SW: What was your first training experience like with Bosnia and Herzegovina and their coaching staff and what were some of the differences that you noticed between their training style and the ones that you have played with here in the United States?

EC: The coaching staff in Bosnia and Herzegovina, comprising retired professional players, offered a unique perspective on the game. Training sessions emphasized tactical awareness and game speed, contrasting somewhat with the emphasis on technical skills prevalent in the United States. However, I believe that the current focus on technical proficiency is positioning US soccer favorably on the world stage.

SW: How did playing for FC United prepare you for playing with Bosnia and Herzegovina?

EC: Being 15 years old and playing for FC United U19 MLS Next team, under the guidance of coach Oscar Rivero, was instrumental in my development as a player. Coach Rivero’s emphasis on being a well-rounded, two-way player significantly contributed to my growth. Additionally, supplemental sessions with coach Charlie Trout of Fundamental Football further enhanced my skills and prepared me for the challenges of international play.

SW: How has playing futsal helped you develop your game?

EC: Playing futsal with the Brusfa team, coached by Claudio Evangelista, provided me with invaluable experience in tight spaces and quick decision-making. This aspect of the game has had a profound impact on my development as a player, enhancing my ability to navigate and find outlets before I receive the ball.

SW: What are some of your favorite subjects in school and what do you think you would like to study in college?

EC: While my passion lies in soccer, I also have a keen interest in history and languages. However, I plan to pursue studies in Business Administration, aiming to merge my family’s entrepreneurial legacy with my love for soccer.

SW: Off the field, are you involved with any clubs or organizations (ex: French club, National Honors Society, band, etc.)?

EC: When I’m not on the field or studying, I enjoy spending time with friends, whether it’s exploring shopping malls, relaxing at swimming pools, or catching the latest movies.

SW: If you could give one piece of advice to a younger player who wants to play midfield what would it be?

EC: To aspiring midfielders, I would emphasize the importance of constant awareness of their surroundings on the field. Play like a 8, defend like a 6 and finish like a 10.

In summary, my journey to Bosnia and Herzegovina epitomizes the transformative power of soccer. It has been a journey of self-discovery, cultural exploration, and personal growth, and I am grateful for the opportunities it has afforded me. While the call up to Bosnia U19 is confirmed I hope to be able to stay closer to the family and get a chance to also show my skills here at home.