Pro soccer brings couple to Sporting KC, UMKC
Oriol “Uri” Rosell moved from Barcelona to Kansas City two months ago for the chance to play for Sporting KC of Major League Soccer. However, Rosell, who was playing for FC Barcelona’s B team, did not want to move without his girlfriend, Aina Santasusana. So she transferred to UMKC to study English.
Rosell majored in business in Spain, and also plans to attend UMKC.
Both Santasusana and Rosell have quickly adapted to Kansas City.
“I didn’t know I was going to like it so much here,” Rosell said.
Santasusana realized that adapting to a new language, culture and lifestyle could be difficult, but doesn’t regret making the big move.
“I miss my family and food, but at the same time I am happy we are growing together,” she said.
Santasusana and Rosell initially experienced culture shock in Kansas City.
“In America, you need a car to go anywhere,” Rosell said. “In Barcelona, you just get on the subway and that’s it.”
Rosell, a midfielder, scored the deciding goal for his new team in a 2-1 victory over Toronto FC on Sept. 1. Though he travels frequently during the Major League Soccer season, Santasusana is accustomed to that.
“I know he is famous, but for me, he is my boyfriend and my best friend before being a soccer player,” she said.
But balance between Santasusana’s life as a UMKC student and her relationship with Rosell has been difficult.
“Time management is basic, especially when you are learning a new language,” she said.
“It is a great place to study. I feel very comfortable and everyone has been so kind here, especially my teachers.”