Nashville SC Defender Jalil Anibaba

When did you first discover a love for soccer? I’ve loved the game of soccer for as long as I can remember, simply because it’s a shared family love. My father raised my brothers and me to learn life lessons through soccer, and those childhood experiences placed the game in a special place in my heart from an early age.

What’s your favorite thing about your job? My favorite thing about my job is that I get to do what I love, day in and day out. On top of that, I get to work toward perfecting my craft while being able to experience places around the country and the world that I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to otherwise.

What’s the hardest part of your job? The hardest part of my job is the amount of time I have to sacrifice away from my family and loved ones.

What do you do to stay active? When I’m not practicing or preparing for games or whatnot, I spend most of my time trying to rest and recover for the next training session or game.

What is your proudest professional achievement? My proudest professional achievement has been working with my brothers throughout the league to create Black Players for Change.

What is your proudest personal achievement? It’s hard to pick just one personal achievement. Advancements in one’s life I would consider personal take many forms, but rolling out my youth camp back in my hometown of Davis, California, in 2017 was an important moment in my life. It started the official process that’s really allowed me to give back to my home community in more ways than just through soccer.

What’s your favorite restaurant for dinner? My favorite restaurant for dinner is either Sunda or Chaatable.

What local nonprofit is dearest to your heart? The Community Resource Center here in Nashville is a local nonprofit that’s dearest to my heart. They hosted our entire team on Juneteenth and welcomed us in on such a special day. The work they do on a daily basis undoubtedly makes our Nashville community a better place.

What’s the best advice you’ve received from a coach? The best advice I’ve received from a coach has been to always protect your love for the game. The love a player has for the game will always allow him/her to be able to appreciate the ups and downs while maintaining the perspective needed to preserve and constantly look for ways to improve.