By Aaron Tomich/NPSL.com
A love for the sport of soccer began at a young age for the Brooklyn, New York native turned Tampa Bay, Florida local. Following years in youth and club soccer, one striker continued to play and excel in high school, having been named captain of the squad each year – freshman through senior.
The prospect of playing at a high level in NCAA Division I was ever present for Mazeed Aro-Lambo. After receiving multiple offers to various different schools, he chose to head north to the shores of Lake Michigan and attend Northwestern University, but not for soccer.
“I know that where I performed the best was in the classroom,” said Aro-Lambo.
Academic scholarship and the ability to pursue his passion for medicine is what attracted Mazeed to Northwestern. The chance to study undergrad at a top institution became his next move. Beyond classes, he joined the school’s club soccer team and regularly played in Sunday leagues across the greater Chicagoland area.
Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Aro-Lambo took two gap years before successfully entering Mayo Clinic’s medical school in Rochester, Minnesota. He is currently between his third year of med-school studies and earning a master’s degree while performing research, where his focus is in urology at the moment.
“When I was about eight years old, I lost my father to lung cancer,” said Aro-Lambo. “That, for me, sparked the interest to alleviate pain and pursue medicine. So, ever since then, I’ve wanted to become a doctor.”
Aro-Lambo’s field of study is a heavy workload in which he continually puts great effort into. That said, he still loves staying active and fit. To keep up his health, he connected with Rochester’s NPSL team Med City FC, where he currently plays as their forward. Aro-Lambo has scored four goals in five matches and has provided one assist for Med City in 2021, making an immediate impact.
“Mazeed is a quality player and an exceptional person,” said Med City FC general manager and co-owner Frank Spaeth. “With the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we were looking for more players from the Rochester area to be part of our 2021 squad. As a med student at Mayo Clinic, Mazeed was a great option. He’s quickly become an integral part of the team, scoring goals on the soccer field and building strong relationships with his teammates off it. He also provides a spark when he’s playing for us and he’s been a wonderful addition to the Mayhem.”
The striker credits his teammates first when asked about his scoring success so far this season, saying his strong connection with the midfield has provided those opportunities to put the ball in the back of the net.
Donning the navy, white, and green hummel kits, Aro-Lambo weaves through defenders and exposes their gaps using his speed, agility and strength to score.
“That’s my job on this team, is to score,” said Aro-Lambo.
Aro-Lambo knows that when his studies end and his residency turns into a career in medicine, he will focus on helping others. But his love for the sport will certainly not fade, rather, it will persist in other ways, whether it is continuing Sunday-league play or at the grassroots level.
“My hope is to play [soccer] for as long as I can,” said Aro-Lambo. “I would like to give back to the sport in the future, whether that’s coaching or training because the sport changed my life in so many ways. I think it would be nice to give back to the youth in the community if given the opportunity.”
Photo Credit: Med City FC