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Chillin' with Faye: Suns' Scoring Star Turning it Up

Chillin' with Faye: Suns' Scoring Star Turning it Up



"I be chillin'," Faye said.

Except for times when he's hanging out with his teammates.

"We're mostly playing video games, and he gets a little competitive because I always beat him," Dallas College Cedar Valley men's soccer teammate Makhi Solomon said.

"Bro, what?" Faye pipes in.

The chill effect may have went out the window.

Or did it?

"He's a nice person always," Cedar Valley head coach Nasko Arsov said, dispelling the hard-guy perception Faye may only have of himself. "He works hard, and talks to others. He's quiet. When you're quiet, you don't know what's going on, you know. You don't know what to expect. When you get to know him, he's a friendly guy. He doesn't want to draw attention to himself."

Uprooting Family for DFW

It may be a little too late for that. After the start he's gotten off to this season, Faye is turning heads.

Born in Dallas, Faye grew up in Ghambia, West Africa, where he lived until returning to the Metroplex in 2017 at the age of 13. His mother was going to school in Dallas when he and his older brother were living in Ghambia. Eventually, the two brothers wanted to return to be with their mom. That meant separating from his father, a younger brother and sister.

"When I was coming from Ghambia, I was a kid," Faye said. "I didn't really know much. When I came to Dallas, I started growing up fast. I started having responsibilities."

He graduated from Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, growing his passion for the game of soccer. Yet his dream of playing past high school was put on hold when he was forced to take on a job to help his family to pay the bills, essentially sidelining soccer for a while.

He took a job at Wal-Mart before enrolling at Dallas College Cedar Valley and earning a spot on the team. As a freshman, he scored one goal, and had three assists in 13 games, while starting nine for a Suns team that went a program-best 9-3-1, climbing to No. 5 in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division III rankings.

Now he works at Chipotle, and is cookin' on the field.

"I'm impressed that he's coming from the environment where his family doesn't have that much money, but he works all these low-paying jobs, but he just works hard to get money to pay for school," his coach said. "That is impressive. You don't have that much money or opportunity, but you still find a way."

Making of a Milestone

This year, while Cedar Valley has struggled to put up results in the win-loss column on the pitch, Faye has taken his game to another level. He became the first player in Suns history to record two hat tricks in a season, notching his second in a 4-0 win over Dallas College Mountain View last Wednesday in the Dallas Athletic Conference opener for Cedar Valley. He had his first hat trick in a 3-3 tie with National Park College Sept. 10.

Solomon, a sophomore defender and Faye's high school teammate, was credited with the assist for the milestone hat trick in the 60th minute in the shutout of the Lions. Faye says his teammates have made his goal glory come easier. Yet because he fielded the ball from his buddy Solomon, Faye concedes some of the spotlight.

That's because Solomon is going to beat his chest and let people know about it.

"I'm part of history," Solomon said. "That felt great. At the end of the day, he did all the hard work. All I had to do was feed him the ball. I just appreciate that we got him right here, and all the hard work he's putting in this season."

Faye, who is pursuing a degree in business management, leads the Suns in scoring with nine goals and two assists for 20 points. He is tied for ninth in the country in goals, and tied for 16th in points.

"Last year, I was not really focused," he confessed. "This year, I was like, 'This is my last year. I have to make it count.'"

That he's done. Entering Wednesday's 6 p.m. game at No. 1 Dallas College Richland, Faye has scored in three straight games and four of the past five. He has eight of his nine goals in that stretch.

He continually tells Solomon he longs for that leadership role. Solomon wouldn't expect anything less.

"I feel like he improved from last year," Solomon said. "To be honest, I'm not really surprised. You can tell this year he really wants to do this. I even tell him, 'You can do better than this.' If he puts his mind on the game, he really goes hard."

That extra-gear work ethic is something Arsov noticed about him. It's also the reason his coach, a former Bulgarian Football Professional League player who scored 82 goals in 325 matches when he was running up and down the field, brought him to Cedar Valley.

"He has very good technique and skills," Arsov said. "He knows how to position himself to the goal for situations when shooting. He can choose the moment. With him, finishing is so clinical. He hits the ball with power and accuracy. He's going to be dangerous."

Now the challenge is can Faye and the Suns turn it up a notch, trying to recover from a slow start to the season to finish strong?

"I feel like in the beginning, we didn't have any chemistry," Faye said. "No togetherness. This team from last year, only four people stayed, so it was like a new team in the beginning. It was hard. Everybody was new to everybody. But now, the more we play, the more we get chemistry. After the games, we've been hanging out, so it makes everybody get closer. Right now, it's like a family. It ain't even like a soccer team."

That's what makes this game more than just a kick for Faye. The camraderie he gets from his teammates outweighs the glory he gets from scoring goals.

"Coming to practice every morning, seeing everybody, being together," he said. "Eating after the games, hanging out after the games."

Just like it was his nature to drop soccer for the good of his family, Faye has his teammates' backs if they need him.

"He almost takes care of stuff. You don't even have to ask him," Solomon said. "If you don't have money, you don't have stuff, he's going to help you out. He looks out for everybody, all the time."