On paper, Philadelphia Union star Jean-Marie Daniel Mwanga is by no means your average just-turned-19-year-old. Born in Kinshasa during a civil war in which he lost his father, he was 14 when he and one of his four sisters emigrated to Oregon to join their exiled mother. In Portland, he played high-school, then college, football (Go Beavers!) before accepting the Union’s coveted first bid in the MLS draft. He’s a star on the field, good on the ball, relentlessly energetic, a leading scorer and fan favorite — the Sons of Ben turned his name into a song. But off the field, out of his sleek Adidas uniform or crest-adorned navy blue traveling jacket, hanging out with teammate Amobi Okugo in their Old City apartment, he watches soccer on TV, misses his family and friends back home, dreams of playing for Congo’s national team, and wishes he had more pals in Philly. Which, if not totally average, is entirely normal. Shorts, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Barneys Co-op; shirt, J.Crew; shoes, Oliberté, Bus Stop Boutique.
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