Position: Defender

Sora Wakabayashi

Born in Osaka, Japan, Sora is an outside back looking to cause trouble on the attack while also keeping Duluth’s back line secure and strong. Above all Sora loves how the position makes him utilize his talents as a dribbler. He transitioned into the position in college and hasn’t left it since.

Football has always been a part of Sora’s life, an idea and passion that can be traced back throughout his memory. From as young as he can remember Sora knows he was always kicking the ball around for fun. Along with his family, Sora also received guidance from his junior high school coach who he often sources as the best coach he’s ever played for. That guidance helped him find his talents and tone his mentality on and off the pitch.

Sora has always looked up to fellow outside back Marcelo of Real Madrid and the Brazilian national team, looking to the legendary player as an example of how the position can be a creative and key point for any squad. Sora is a passionate supporter of French giants PSG, known for their constant variety of star players and consistent domestic success.

Cori Hill

From the far away land of Florida, Cori Hill loves his position as a center back for all the right reasons. With a reputation for strong headers, big tackles, and long throws, Cori brings strength and endurance to the defensive line with his dedication to getting the job done no matter what stands in his way.

Cori’s first memories of the game go back to his fourth birthday when he received a soccer ball as a gift. What started as playing in the yard for fun would develop into a major passion in Cori’s life, leading him to Duluth FC. Cori’s family has always been his biggest support system, as his parents did anything needed to make sure Cori could pursue his passion as a soccer player.

Cori’s first live match was quite the memorable one, as he attended a friendly between Barcelona and Chivas at the Hard Rock Stadium (then called the Sun Life Stadium) in Miami Gardens, Florida. The game would become best known for Chivas’ dominate second half performance which gave them the win against the Catalan giants.

As a staunch Liverpool supporter, Cori’s idol has always been the Reds’ legendary defender Jamie Carragher, who won the FA Cup, League Cup, UEFA Cup (Europa League) and the Champions League during his time at the club.

Selim Tunagur

Born in Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia and based out of Birmingham, Alabama, Selim is a talented outside back who loves to charge up and down the wing to help both the attack and the defense. Selim played as a goalkeeper for most of his life, but was given a shift in the back line and quickly fell in love with the position.

Selim’s first match was about as big as it gets, the Besiktas-Fenerbahce derby in Istanbul. He was able to see the match with his grandfather, who was a die hard supporter of Besiktas. Istanbul’s diverse football scene has created many top level rivalries, Besiktas-Fenerbahce being one of the best. Both clubs have been and continue to be giants of the Turkish Super Lig. In addition to Besiktas J.K., Selim also supporters Glasgow Rangers, one of the more globally known and decorated clubs in Scotland.

Selim started playing football at a young age, inspired by his brother who had begun playing in school. It gave the two a great way to get to know one another and became a big part of Selim’s life. He continued to play when he moved to the United States, where the beautiful game continued to become his passion.