If time allows, Julio Fulcar’s family returns to the Dominican Republic once a year. In a place where baseball is the national sport, that’s where many of his uncles, aunts and cousins live.
On each trip, there’s one item he makes sure to pack: a soccer ball.
"The soccer ball was almost like a foreign thing to them," Fulcar said. "Now, a couple years later, my cousins are playing some. They have soccer fields next to baseball fields, and the sport’s starting to grow pretty quickly."
But back Stateside, soccer is an ever-present part of this 18-year-old’s life. He plays in central midfield for the Boston Bolts’ U-19 academy team, and Brian Ainscough, the club’s executive director of coaching, called him "one of our top guys."