Jan Hummel, a German exchange student at Valley Meade High School in Wisconsin, has shown very little interest in athletics in his one month at the school and reportedly isn't even very good at soccer.
"It's a huge disappointment," said Kip Davis, Valley Meade's boys' varsity soccer coach. "We've never had a foreign kid who hasn't at least been good enough to be a serviceable backup on the team. And usually they're our best players. At the very least, their accent makes us feel more like a real soccer team."
Without its annual foreign recruit, the Rovers have struggled to a 4-7 record so far this season, making it the first Valley Meade squad to be without at least one player from overseas since 1984.
"I just want to come to U.S., learn better English and get ready for my further studies at university," says Hummel. "I do not really like to play the game you here call soccer. I do not mean to disappoint my new school and hopeful new friends, but it is a thing I must do."
Hummel claims he never played soccer while growing up in Germany.
"Lies. Pure lies. I don't buy it," says Coach Davis. "He's from another country. Of course he plays soccer. You know, I looked in on his gym class the other day and they were playing soccer. He's not a superstar, but he's definitely better than some of the kids I have playing and he would contribute. He should be on my team. The administration should force him to be."
But Hummel maintains he never played and doesn't want to start, even though many of the girls at Valley Meade say he looks and sounds like David Beckham.
"Honestly, I do not lie about this thing," he said. "I watch some soccer as I grow up as a boy on television, but I never play. Watch only."
Coach Davis has scheduled a meeting to review Valley Meade's exchange student program with the school principal and superintendent for next week.
"If we're going to have these foreign kids come over here, give them a place to stay, feed them, and give them an education, the least they can do is play soccer for us," says Davis. "There's no benefit to our school to have them if they're not playing sports. Just think of the foreign kids who could use this opportunity foreign kids who just happen to be dominant strikers or midfielders with great vision. Goalies even. These are the kids we should have here. This Hummel kid is abusing the system. It has to stop."