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DC United's Chris Odoi-Atsem scores first career goal, reflects on battle with cancer

Odoi-Atsem was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2018. He was cancer-free in January 2020 but his return to the soccer field wasn’t so easy.

WASHINGTON — Chris Odoi-Atsem scored the game-winning goal for DC United over the weekend but it wasn’t just a normal goal by any means. It was his first since being cleared to play since returning to soccer since his fight with cancer. 

Odoi-Atsem was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2018. He was cancer-free in January 2020 but his return to the soccer field wasn’t so easy.

"It’s been a long journey. Everything hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to go. The way I thought it would," said Odoi-Atsem. "The toughest part — my body wasn’t used to hard grind."

However, The former DeMatha Catholic High School and University of Maryland standout didn’t let those challenges hold him back.

Odoi-Atsem goal shows what the defender can do on the soccer pitch after going through a horrific health scare and diagnosis.

"It was a great moment for me, said Odoi-Atsem in an interview with DC United media.

Credit: AP
Montreal Impact forward Romell Quioto, right, tries to get off a shot in front of D.C. United defender Chris Odoi-Atsem, left, during the first half of an MLS soccer match, Tuesday, July 21, 2020, in Kissimmee, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

The Mitchellville, Maryland native has been a part of D.C. United's organization since 2017.

To learn more about DC United soccer and Chris Odoi-Atsem, click here.

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