BiB033: Kicking It with Anthony Ampai, Team Captain of Bangkok United

Amidst the soccer fever that gripped the world, Siddhant had the opportunity to chat with Anthony Ampai, the captain of Bangkok United, an elite soccer club in Thailand.

Anthony grew up in the United States and he was surrounded by all kinds of sports growing up. His big break in soccer came when he was just a young boy and he had a successful trial with the national team. As a young player, he grew in the US Soccer Development Academy in Florida and had the opportunity to travel to new places around the world and play against the best in his age group.

After his stint in college, Anthony got his chance to play in Major League Soccer in the US and that’s when his career really began to take off. After a couple of good seasons at the San Jose Earthquakes, Thai scouts came to check on this half-Thai midfielder that possessed excellent stamina and technique.

Anthony has played for Buriram United and the Thailand National team but he has been at Bangkok United for many years now. We talked about working towards becoming a professional soccer player, his life and career in America, coming to Thailand, and learning more about his Thai heritage and how Thai culture is reflected in football.

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About Anthony

  • Grew up in Texas
  • Tried to emulate his dad, who was Thai and loved playing amateur soccer in the US
  • Represented the USA in the junior age groups and stayed at the US Soccer Development Academy
  • Played college soccer for University of Akron and won a championship
  • Played a couple of seasons with the San Jose Earthquakes
  • Played one season with Buriram United and won the Toyota Cup and the FA Cup
  • Joined Bangkok United, he is now the captain of the team
  • He is a full Thailand International

Topics Discussed

  • Growing up with American sports
  • A Thai-American in Texas?
  • Getting into the American soccer system
  • Where does Anthony play on the pitch?
  • Living in the US Soccer Development Academy
  • Playing college soccer in University of Akron and then in the MLS with San Jose.
  • Drafted to the MLS by the San Jose Earthquakes
  • Playing soccer in Thailand is a possibility
  • Buriram United days
  • Thailand National Team
  • Bangkok United, the early days
  • Thai culture and soccer
  • How did Thailand become a regional soccer powerhouse
  • Business and life outside soccer
  • Working with his friend Dragan Boskovic (striker for Thai Port)
  • Why Bangkok is fantastic for a soccer player

Resources Mentioned

Credits

I had some help with this episode. Lou Pobjecky kindly helped me with a lot of the necessary audio edits to get this file into the fine piece of audio it is today. Lou also put together the cover image.

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