According to the USA midfielder, his father moved from Rajkot when he was 16 years old.

Mia Bhuta is a midfielder for the USA’s under-17 women’s World Cup team. When Vyom was 16, he moved from India on a tennis scholarship. So, when Bhuta said this World Cup was “something special,” she meant more than just playing on the biggest stage available to young footballers.

“Every girl who touches a ball dreams of playing in the World Cup, which is why I am so happy to be here.” It is also an excellent opportunity to learn about the culture (in India). “Every Indian player and us can show that we can all dream big,” Bhuta said on the dais here on Monday, alongside USA coach Natalia Astrain.

After the media interaction, Bhuta told women footballers from an Odisha government programme that she and her teammates, along with India captain Astam Oraon, had given them “gifts.”

That’s not a bad place to start for a tournament whose slogan is “kick off the dream.” One in which India takes on the United States on Tuesday.

Vyom’s family is from Rajkot, according to Bhuta. She had visited India “a few times” and was “appreciative of her Indian heritage.” The Bhutas live in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, with Vyom staying after college, according to the daughter.

“I understand the culture, and I’m glad I was able to share it with my teammates.” I believe I inherited my father’s work ethic, which has enabled me to realise my dream.” A dream that will take her to Stanford University in January to pursue football while also exploring her interests in neuroscience and technology.

Bhuta, like many other players in this tournament, began playing the sport at home with her father and the rest of the family. When the Bhutas realised their daughter was talented in the sport, they put her through rigorous training. It involved doing the next day’s schoolwork while being driven from her home to the over 50-year-old Internationals Soccer Club in Medina, Ohio, over two hours away, according to Pittsburg Soccer Now, whose article Bhuta retweeted last March. That was more than a decade ago.

From there to Bhubaneswar, she was trained by former player Keri Server, who was a member of the USA national women’s player pool from 1992 to 2001, and developed into a “box-to-box midfielder,” in her words.

“I like to look to create as many goal scoring opportunities as possible while being ready for any counter measures that may occur so that I can get pressure back on the ball and delay the other team’s attack,” Bhuta told Pittsburg Soccer Now.

Will there be schisms in the family on Tuesday? Bhuta was questioned. “My family will always support my team,” she said with a smile.

Topics #Mia Bhuta #USA midfielder #Women's U-17 World Cup #World Cup