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A Deadly Talent
Rick Reilly
October 17, 2005
In this country, a star athlete might get some hate mail, a few boos, maybe a battery chucked at him if he turns down an offer from another team.
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October 17, 2005

A Deadly Talent

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Months went by. Finally, his cousin took him to a high school soccer practice. Palm Beach Lakes coach Adam Spangenthal took a look at Fabrice's tattered brown loafers and asked if Fabrice had ever played before. Fabrice grinned.

"I've been around soccer for 30 years," Spangenthal recalls. "I've never seen a kid like this. He was as fast with the ball on his foot as he is without it. Faster than Freddy Adu. He has so many moves, I'm not sure he has a spine."

Last year, in his second season at Palm Beach Lakes High, Fabrice scored 58 goals in 19 games. And that's after crying before nearly every game.

As a developmental player for the Rapids now, he's used as a late-game sub. He lives with two teammates and has no car. He speaks to his parents only once every two weeks--they take the calls at hidden locations set up by a cousin in Haiti--and only for 10 or 15 minutes.

"Never give up, Fabrice," they say. As if he had a choice.

His carpenter father, Calo, can't work, so Fabrice pays for everything--housing, food, cars, their passports. He will even pay for their visas, if they're ever granted. He waits each day for a fax, a call, word, but nothing ever comes.

A church in Tallahassee heard about his plight and has vowed to raise the money for the family to come. Former Florida senator Bob Graham has offered to help. But so far it hasn't been enough.

If and when they come, "I won't sleep," Fabrice says. "I'll stay up all night talking to them. And hugging them."

And then?

"And then, if they give me the chance, I will lead the whole [ MLS] in scoring. You will see. I am going to be better."

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