Winnipeg soccer player’s professional dream on hold while awaiting work visa

Moses Danto practices with WSA Winnipeg. Jeremy Desrochers / Global News

WINNIPEG — Getting his first professional contract should have been a dream come true for Winnipeg soccer player Moses Danto. But after signing with the United Soccer League’s Phoenix Rising FC, it’s turned into a nightmare.

Born in Sudan, Danto immigrated to Canada about a decade ago and the 22-year-old still hasn’t been able to obtain a United States work visa to go play. He believes his country of birth is playing a role in the delay.

“That’s part of the reason,” Danto said. “But there’s also other things in the back that are going on. I can’t really talk about it.”

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Danto has traveled freely in the U.S. without issues in the past for tryouts and for WSA Winnipeg away games.

“He’s from one of those countries that was banned in the United States so they might not allow him to go there,” WSA Winnipeg head coach Eduardo Badescu said.

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“They’re positive that it’s going to work out and everything’s going to be good. That I’ll be able to get down there,” Danto said. “But at the moment, I just have to be patient. There’s nothing else I can do, just wait.”

While Danto awaits word, the USL campaign has already started with Phoenix now six games into their season.

“I have immigration lawyers and I have my coaches down in Phoenix are working it,” he said. “They even got their lawyers working on it, so everybody’s just working as fast as they can to get everything processed faster.”

In the meantime the three-time conference all-star is keeping his skills sharp by training with his old club, WSA Winnipeg.

“It’s been tough the last couple weeks,” said Danto. “But I’m just going to keep working and hopefully everything works out.”

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