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Femi Hollinger-Janzen - Birmingham Legion FC

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Femi has been left unprotected by the Revs for tomorrow's expansion draft.  There is no question that he is talented enough to play consistently in this league after watching him this past year..

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19 hours ago, Fil_Dunfie said:

Femi has been left unprotected by the Revs for tomorrow's expansion draft.  There is no question that he is talented enough to play consistently in this league after watching him this past year..

Picked by Minnesota United in the final selection. He was the only Hoosier that moved today.

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10 hours ago, ccgeneral said:

Picked by Minnesota United in the final selection. He was the only Hoosier that moved today.

He should have a better chance at playing time with them rather than Atlanta based on the philosophies they have both exhibited so far.  Atlanta is splashing the cash on guys Martino is familiar with from S. Amer.

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Short stay in Minny.


The New England Revolution announced today that the club has acquired forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen from Minnesota United FC in exchange for goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth.

Hollinger-Janzen, 23, made a significant impact in his rookie campaign with New England. As a third-round selection (51st overall) in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft, he made 19 appearances, including one start, and registered two goals with one assist. Femi was one of only three players selected in the third round or later of the 2016 SuperDraft to make a regular season appearance. The former Indiana University star ranked second on the club with 18 substitute appearances in 2016, and was named the Santander Man of the Month for May after scoring twice, including a game-winning goal against Seattle on May 28, and adding one assist.

Hollinger-Janzen, who also goes simply by Femi, was selected by Minnesota United FC with the 10th overall selection in the 2017 MLS Expansion Draft. He spent the beginning of the 2017 preseason in training with Minnesota and will re-join the Revolution for the conclusion of the club’s preseason training in Tucson, Ariz.

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Femi on the move. Birmingham Legion FC is part of the USL expansion that will debut this year.


Transaction: On January 7, 2019, Legion FC signed forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen to a multi-year contract.

Birmingham Legion FC announced today the signing of forward Femi Hollinger-Janzen. The Beninese native brings Major League Soccer experience to Birmingham, following a three-year stint with the New England Revolution.

“Femi is a player we know well from his time in MLS,” said Legion FC President and General Manager Jay Heaps.  “Not only does he exhibit a physical, attacking style of play at a variety of positions, he has excellent character and will be a good presence in the locker room.”

Hollinger-Janzen was initially drafted in the 2016 MLS SuperDraft by New England and made 20 appearances that season, bagging two goals and an assist. He was selected by Minnesota United FC with the 10th pick in the 2016 MLS Expansion Draft but was traded back to New England before the start of the 2017 MLS season. He played 14 times for New England in 2017, and then spent the 2018 season splitting time between New England and USL Championship side, Tulsa Roughnecks FC.

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Feel good story on Femi by Austin Hough of The Goshen News.

New children's book details life of local soccer star Femi Hollinger-Janzen

GOSHEN — Sharon Koble has always been inspired by the life story of Femi Hollinger-Janzen, to the point where she wrote a children’s book about him without telling him about it. She wrote the book and gave it to Hollinger-Janzen’s mom, Lynda, to pass along to her son to see if he liked it.

After nearly a year of no response, Koble gave up hope on the book being published.

Then she received a call from Hollinger-Janzen, who said he was moved to tears from reading it. He gave his blessing for the book to be published, and “Lynda’s Baby” was illustrated and officially released in July.

“It was a little bit of everything,” said Hollinger-Janzen of when he read the book for the first time. “It was overwhelming, it was surreal, it was eye-opening to me; just everything that has happened in my life and everything, looking back, how God has played a role in all of those certain situations in my life. … That, for me, was super emotional. Just grateful for the life I’ve lived and the opportunities that I’ve had.”

“To me, it’s a story that could bring hope and inspiration to other kids, and really anybody; adults, too, that would read it and tell the story,” Koble added.


Hollinger-Janzen’s story almost sounds like it came from a fiction book. Born in Benin, Africa, he was left alone in a park by his birth mother. Someone found him and took him to a nearby orphanage, where he would spend the next six years of his life before being adopted by Lynda.

Born with a crooked foot, it was unclear whether Hollinger-Janzen would ever walk. A miracle happened though, and his foot naturally became normal. Realizing the blessing this was, Hollinger-Janzen used his now-two good feet to become one of the best soccer players in area history.

While at Bethany Christian High School, he won the Gatorade Indiana Player of the Year award during his senior season in 2011. He totaled 67 goals and 23 assists during his four seasons with the Bruins and was one of the top soccer prospects in the country.

Hollinger-Janzen then went and played soccer at Indiana University, where he was part of the 2012 NCAA National Championship-winning team. His play as a member of the Hoosiers led him to being a third-round pick in the 2016 Major League Soccer (MLS) draft by the New England Revolution.

He spent three seasons playing for New England, appearing in 32 matches and scoring two career goals. After two seasons in the United Soccer League, he retired from professional soccer in January 2019.

Now, Hollinger-Janzen works in Goshen at Lippert Components. He and his wife, Jerica, were married in January. At 26 years old, Hollinger-Janzen now gets to begin the post-soccer phase of his life.

“It is an adjustment; definitely a different type of lifestyle,” Hollinger-Janzen said. “Definitely having to get used to having a normal job, but I’m enjoying the new challenge and a new chapter with being married. It’s been fun.”


Koble has lived near the Hollinger-Janzen family for many years and saw Femi grow up with her son, Seth. “Lynda’s Baby” is told through the perspective of Hollinger-Janzen’s mother, Lynda. Koble said she chose that perspective because she is a mother as well.

Koble is not an author. She was an elementary teacher at Waterford in Goshen before becoming a stay-at-home mom when Seth were born. She had always wanted to write a children’s book, though, and Hollinger-Janzen’s story provided the perfect avenue for that.

“All of these kinds of things were just really special that he overcame,” Koble said. “The fact he was found, his leg was healed, he was adopted and just overcame all of these things. And so, (the book) then goes through his career and being drafted. And, that’s pretty much where (the book) ends, with him playing professional soccer.”

The duo will be doing book signings in the area in the coming weeks. They will be at Goshen Soccer Academy from noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 7 and at First Church of God in Nappanee on Nov. 8 following the Sunday morning service.

All proceeds from the book go to La Casa Grande, a Christian orphanage for children located in Hollinger-Janzen’s home country of Benin. So far, nearly $2,000 has been donated from book sales.

“That was a natural choice,” said Koble of donating to La Casa Grande. “I had told Femi and his family right from the beginning — even before I first shared the story with his mom — that I don’t want to make any money on it. … I just want people to hear the story and be inspired by it and also help people, if it makes any money.”

To be able to give back to children from his home country makes the book that much more special for Hollinger-Janzen.

“It’s incredible,” Hollinger-Janzen said. “That would’ve been the orphanage I would’ve grown up in if I wasn’t adopted, and so it just means a lot to donate everything to them and help those kids out. Not everyone is as fortunate as I was to get adopted and taken in by a family.

“To be able to give back something to those kids, it’s truly incredible and exciting to be able to do that with the proceeds from the book.”

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