Chicken Curry and Cable TV
Calum Mallace picks up his iPhone and calls home to West St. Paul. Val Mallace answers, happy to hear her youngest son on the other line. “Mom, we don’t have training on Sunday, can I come over for dinner?” he asks. His mom eagerly agrees. She promises to make her famous chicken curry, Calum’s favorite, to celebrate his return home from Montreal.
It’s been far too long since Mallace has had her chicken curry. After graduating from Henry Sibley High School in 2008, Mallace attended Marquette University. Though Milwaukee is only a five hour drive, Mallace’s rigorous schedule prevented him from making many visits home to Minnesota. “I took summer classes every year so I could graduate early, because I was hoping to get drafted,” said Mallace. “I was at school for 11 months of the year. I went home for Christmas break, but that was about it.”
His hard work paid off in 2012 when he was picked up by Montreal Impact. The drive home is a bit longer, 15 hours longer to be exact, but Mallace’s dreams of playing in the MLS were finally coming true. Almost.
Though his inaugural season went well, with four starts and 289 minutes of playing time, this year Mallace found himself watching too many games from the bench. He came on only twice, both times as a substitute, for a total of 36 minutes played.
It was time for a change. “The loan was my choice. I had the opportunity to say yes and come to Minnesota, or say no and train in Montreal for the next four months and probably not get any minutes,” said Mallace. “So I chose to come here, hoping I’d get to play some games and hold my spot down in the middle to improve my game.”
Mallace has returned to Minnesota life with ease. He’s excited about installing cable TV in his Minnetonka apartment and grateful for the warm welcome he’s received from the people at United. “Everything has been great. Everyone has been welcoming. [My teammates] are really great guys and they help me both on and off the field. It makes it easier to settle in well.”
Though the 23-year-old doesn’t plan on retiring any time soon, Mallace hopes to someday put his broadcast communications major to good use. “I could commentate games or work in anything involving the broadcast aspect of soccer,” said Mallace. “But I want to play as long as I can. Whether that’s in the MLS, in Europe, or here, I see myself playing the game I love ’til these legs can’t run any more.”
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