Daniel Yallah is a Liberian-American Soccer Player at YSC Academy in Philadelphia
“Yalla,” Arabic for hurry up, is painted across the bright red food truck that often parks at Duke University’s student wellness center and serves halal and kosher Mediterranean cuisine.
Waylee Yallah, 19, hails from Liberia’s Gbarnga town where many refugees resided. Due to his stellar academic achievement he earned admission into a private school before coming with his younger siblings to America in 2015.
Early Life and Education
Yallah was raised alongside his two younger siblings in Gbarnga, an area of the city popular among refugees. Thanks to his academic accomplishments he earned himself a scholarship at a private sixth through ninth grade school that helped ease some of their financial burden.
Since his return, he has continued his education and playing soccer – earning one-day contracts with both YSC Academy and FC Delco and helping Team Liberia win yet another Philadelphia International Unity Cup this year. Additionally, he co-founded Yalla Food Truck as the first halal/kosher fusion food truck in North Carolina.
He says revealing how long doctors have given him to live makes people act differently around him and isn’t how he wants to live his life.
Yallah had an unfailingly positive outlook and profound faith, which helped him successfully navigate life’s obstacles. He studied social work at Harcum College to assist other young people facing challenging situations.
He graduated from YSC Academy, a high school in Wayne for elite soccer students affiliated with Philadelphia Union. Additionally, he played for FC Delco. His raw talent as evidenced by Team Liberia performances in Philadelphia International Unity Cup convinced a scout for Philadelphia Union that he could become a professional soccer player.
Doctors tell him he only has months left, yet he doesn’t wish to share this number with anyone. Instead, he wants to spend his remaining days working and praying, taking care in making sure his younger siblings will be taken care of if his battle with cancer proves unsuccessful.
Achievement and Honors
Daniel Yallah travelled to the United States in 2015 with a dream to pursue soccer as his profession. Born and raised in Gbarnga, Liberia – an area filled with refugees with limited food sources – Daniel earned a scholarship that enabled him to attend private school for sixth through ninth grades, alleviating financial pressure off of his family.
Yallah graduated from YSC Academy, a college-prepatory high school located in Wayne, Delaware County affiliated with Philadelphia Union FC. Following graduation he plans to establish a junior-college program locally as well as pursue a degree in social work to assist others in similar circumstances while playing soccer regularly throughout Delaware County.
He achieved one of his lifelong goals when he signed a one-day contract with Philadelphia Union and assisted Team Liberia to win yet another Philadelphia International Unity Cup tournament this year.
When doctors informed Yallah he was diagnosed with stage four liver cancer, he acknowledged he knew his time would soon be up – yet refused to allow this disease define his existence. Instead he continued playing basketball at YSC Academy before representing Liberia at this year’s Philadelphia International Unity Cup tournament in Philadelphia.
Whoever finds themselves bemoaning the state of mumble trap should look no further than Ugandan rapper Yallah Beibe. He assembles an international network of underground producers (German buttfucker Debmaster and Japan’s Scotch Rolex among them) who provide unwelcomed beats while Yallah effortlessly raps over them in four languages – perfecting both their sound production as well as his own.
Yallah created an album of anthems that defy expectations and speak directly to our souls, be they over dark industrial beats on ‘Baliwa’ or with her signature Luganda language sneer over distorted synth bass on ‘No One Seems To Bother’ Yallah makes her point loud and clear.
Daniel Yallah wakes up knowing he can make the most of each moment in his Southwest Philly walk-up with his younger siblings, practicing his religion fervently while spending time with friends and soccer family from YSC Academy and FC Delco.
Yallah’s unfailing optimism and strong faith has made him an example for teammates, schoolmates and the Philadelphia soccer community alike. He played for Team Liberia at this summer’s Philadelphia International Unity Cup championship tournament as well as fulfilling one of his lifelong ambitions by signing a one-day contract with Philadelphia Union FC.
He doesn’t like talking about how long doctors expect him to live, but is accepting of whatever the future may bring.