Alihodzic started on varsity all four years for Bayless, and his senior year led the St. Louis area in goals (47) and assists (42).
He had older relatives for role models growing up.
He said he started on a Bosnian team with an older cousin when he was seven. He also hitched rides with his older brother to practices and games.
“Where ever he went, I went with him,” he said of his brother. “I played with the team or by my self.”
He said his father, Muradif Fazlo, played in 1990s in Bosnia, but when when he moved to the United States and got a job and had three children he had to give it up. Alihodzic said it’s funny, though, “He was a defensive player, I’m an attacker.”
Though the boys high school soccer season is in the fall, Alihodzic practices twice a week with his Scott Gallagher team and in pick-up games at Mehlville High School Saturday and Sunday mornings with mostly college sophomores and juniors.
Before his senior year, “I pushed myself, played spring, summer, and when fall started I really pushed myself. I tried my best, since this was my last year.”
He said half-way through the season Bayless moved a striker to defense, which tightened the defense up. “We used counter attacks against good teams and when we played an even team we possessed the ball,” he said.
Alihodzic knows how to possess.
A Principia mid-fielder, junior Tommy Walters, said of a game where Bayless beat Principia 3-2, “they had the ball 30 percent, we had the ball 30 percent and Fazlo had the ball 40 percent.”
With the World Cup coming up next year, Alihodzic said he likes Brazil. “I like their style of play,” he said. “They play freely, with a lot of talent.”
SOURCE: AFFTON PATCH
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