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TULSA BOUND: MICHAEL CUNNINGHAM

Written By Chris Dailey

When asked, who is Michael Cunningham? Most people will say, ‘an Englishman living in the states, a YouTube star, and an OPSM PRO athlete’.

However, they don’t know one thing about a man whose life is documented on social media.

Michael Cunningham is officially a player for FC Tulsa in the USL Championship, the second tier of American soccer (USL is ranked the 29th best league in the world, one above EFL League 2, via Global Football Rankings).

Cunningham, born and raised in England, was questioning at the age of 15 if he could ever play professionally. And in search of a degree, Cunningham traveled 3,421 miles to Rochester, New York to play at Roberts Wesleyan College. 

This then led him to play in the MASL for the Rochester Lancers. But he still had a thought looming over his head, “can I play professional outdoor soccer?”

In hopes of finding an opportunity, the world-famous Youtuber often referred to simply as ‘7MLC’, signed for OPSM. And after a few trials and participating in the OPSM combine, Cunningham found himself in Tulsa, Oklahoma, trialing for FC Tulsa.

“At a pro level, you’re coming in as a new guy, but you’re also coming in for a spot on the team. They (players) want to welcome you, but at the same time they’re wondering what position you play, does he want to take my spot on the team,” Cunningham said about coming in on trial in Tulsa.

And despite not playing outdoors for nearly over a year thanks to the coronavirus, Cunningham settled down, found his form, and impressed Michael Nsien and the rest of the coaching staff at FC Tulsa.

Cunningham also made a few friends while trialing, and reunited with one, none other than fellow OPSM athlete and YouTuber, Matt Sheldon aka Become Elite.

“I got to know a lot of guys quickly, and thankfully I knew Matt from before. We’ve spoken for hours in the past and although that was our first time meeting in person, it felt like meeting an old friend.”

Michael has immersed himself in the squad and has had some chats with the team about his YouTube channel, “on the last road trip, lots of guys were asking questions and were very interested in the Youtube side of things. Many guys are very interested in growing their personal brand… and usually, I find the ones who joke about it (youtube channel) the most are the most interested and ask to be in the videos the most.”

Only two months ago, Cunningham was unsure what the future looked like for him. However, if there is one thing about Cunningham that comes up time and time again in his life, he makes the best out of every situation.

And for him, it was getting as mentally and physically prepared as possible for a trial at a new club, with new people, and the same ball he’s been kicking since the time he could walk.

Although the transition from indoor to outdoor was tough on the surface, Michael Cunningham never backs down from a challenge on and off the pitch, and FC Tulsa realized just that and signed the OPSM athlete to a professional USL contract.

Michael Cunningham, made the impossible, possible. A journey that was certainly an unusual one, wouldn’t stop here.

From a 15 year old who didn’t know if he could ever kick a ball at the professional level to signing a contract in the USL Championship, Michael Cunningham set a goal and didn’t stop working to achieve that goal. 

Now, Cunningham is getting prepared for this upcoming USL season and is ready to show the world what he can bring at the professional outdoor level.

FYI: be ready for some of the best Youtube content of all-time. 7MLC x Become Elite collabs aren’t a once in a year thing nowadays, they’re 24/7/365.

Click to view Michael Cunningham’s profile on the OPSM database: https://www.opsmpro.com/players/michael-cunningham/

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