Darfur United: The feel-good soccer story of the year

“We’ve already won……we’ve already won……We’re Darfur United and we’ve already won!”

Earlier today, sixteen young men experienced a lifetime of firsts on a soccer pitch in Iraqi Kurdistan. These young men, refugees from the Darfur region of Sudan, emerged from tryouts just over 10 weeks ago to travel to Iraqi Kurdistan to play in the VIVA World Cup, as members of Darfur United.

The VIVA World Cup is an international soccer tournament for teams not sanctioned by FIFA. Today, Darfur United played their first match ever as a team (and their first ever on real grass as well!). They played one of the favorites of the tournament, North Cyprus (ranked #4), and lost 15-0.

But the score doesn’t matter. Just making the long journey from Darfur to refugee camps on the Sudan-Chad border to Iraqi Kurdistan is nothing short of a phenomenal and inspiring achievement.

Back here in the states, we love rooting for an underdog and while Eric Wynalda’s Cal FC has deservedly captured our attention in the U.S Open Cup, there’s still room and time to get behind Darfur United. Visit the links posted below to learn more about this amazing story. The crew at i-ACT have worked tirelessly to document this story.

Links of interest:

* Check out some photos from Darfur’s first game

* Watch tomorrow’s match (Game 2: 11:30pm in Erbil, 1:30pm PT/4:30pm ET against Provence on June 5, 2012.)

* Follow Darfur United’s blog

* Meet the team

* Watch the trailer

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