As Liberia Continue the search to build a formidable,Female National team in every category,likewise their Male Counterpart,this enhance exercise is to surely put Liberia back on the Soccer Map in terms of defending and Challenging for all major Silverware on the African Continent and the World at large.
In this light,Liberia Sports International have discover yet another female Soccer Star,playing in France for the boost of the Liberia Female National team. Here is (Maya Camille Neal ) is a Le Havre A.C. Female defender, who holds dual US and Liberian citizenship.
She was born and raised in Naperville,a western suburb of Chicago, in Illinois, the United States of America,to Liberian parents who met in the early ’80s in Maryland,(USA),Maya Camille Neal is the youngest of three Neal children’s and a track and field athlete, who had earlier represented Liberia at the 2016 African Championships.
Neal have doomed the Liberian Colors in Athletics at the All African Championships,alongside fellow female sprinter Ada Udaya,who finished 3rd placed in the 100m heat and 4th in the Semi-final heat,and Male Sprinter Emmanuel Matadi,whom also finished 1st in his 100m heat with 10.24 seconds,at the 20th African Senior Championships in Durban, South Africa.
Maya Neal (’21), a Le havre A.C. defender who studies political science and business administration,competed with the Tennessee Volunteers women’s soccer team, in both soccer and track and field. She holds Liberian citizenship through her mother and, is a recipient of the Wayne Basler Women’s Soccer Endowed Scholarship.
A member of the Tennessee soccer program for the previous five seasons, Neal enjoyed a well decorated collegiate career on Rocky Top. She was one of two players in the Tennessee University program history to be recognized as a four-time All-SEC and four-time United Coaches All-Region player,earning first team distinction from those organizations on four occasions. Over the course of her career, Neal started 79 matches for the Vols and anchored a back line that recorded 34 shutouts from 2016- 2019.
Neal has both abilities as a track and field player and a Soccer Star, She has represented Tennessee University in the heptathlon (seven events over two days: 100-meter hurdles, high jump, shot put, 200, long jump, javelin and 800), all at the begining of her Career.
Neal’s connections to Liberia, located along the coast of Western Africa with population under five million,has played a role in her activism. Her mother was born in Liberia and Neal represented the country in track and field at the 2016 African Championships.
“I had more of a worldly perspective growing up, since my mom was from Liberia,” Neal had said earlier in an interview. The Le Havre defender further said she saw “sports and academics are equally exceptional,and was quoted “it is a place where I could see myself achieving tremendous personal growth on the track,pitch,and in the classroom and community.
“Prior to coming here, I saw the effect that the late, great pioneer Pat Sumitt had on women’s sports,which garnered much of my admiration and interest.
Along with the deference for women’s athletics, the passion of the fan base here has a great positive impact on athletics, and their support goes a long way. “It makes competing more gratifying,and the support from far and wide is valued.
“I realize that there is a lot that goes into the financing and planning of facilities and athletic programs, including Contracts like mine” is important,Neal said.
Neal started her career at Tennessee as a forward, scoring three goals in the first half of her redshirt freshman season before making the switch to defender midway through the campaign.
When the Vols were Short handed at halftime against MTSU on Sept 11,2016, head coach Brian Pensky called on Neal to play center back for the first time in her career. She went on to help University of Tennessee record four shutouts in conference play and was recognized on the SEC All -Freshman Team.
“It was kind of like a heat-of-the-moment thing,” she were just sitting in the team room having a halftime talk, and he [Pensky] ended it with, ‘Maya, have you ever played center back?’ And I was like, ‘No.’ He was like, ‘Well,you’re going out there playing center back.
“I really only had like three minutes to either make the choice to be like, ‘Well, I really don’t want to do this,’ or ‘Why me?’ Or, just go out there and kill that s—. I guess it’s the latter,” said Neal, after the game as she eventually turns into no -nonsense defender and at that point, till now as she has became undisputed Center defender.
On December 30, 2019 NEAL Sign a Contract with Le Havre AC,departing Tennessee University as a Standout Player, and a major contributor during Tennessee’s historic 2018 season,which saw the Vols reach the quarterfinal round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history.
Neal led all field players with 1,810 minutes as part of a back line that set program records for fewest goals allowed (15) and most shutouts (12) in a single season. Tennessee finished the season 16-3-3 (.795) and was tabbed No. 7 in the final United Coaches national poll, the highest final ranking for UT in program history.
Her first full season as a defender came in 2017, as Neal started all 21 matches at center back and led the Vols to their first NCAA Tournament berth since 2012. She was part of 10 shutouts that year and recorded assists in wins over Virginia Tech and Murray State.
Maya’s mother, Michelle Neal is an immigration attorney in Chicago and had been a board member of the Pan African Association, helping in the adjustment process for those from Africa who seek asylum in the U.S.
Le Harve A.C. is a French Football Club women team,whom currently participate in the Feminnine Division 2 and sits at second in the standings of the French second -tier,having tallied 34 points from 14 matches.