Faces in the Crowd: Solomon Stephens

Viking sets sail for World Cup


Photo courtesy of Solomon Stephens

Solomon Stephen’s point of view at the USA vs. Iran match in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Scarlet Fetterolf, Sports Editor

How many teenagers do you know who have traveled to over 40 states? How about peers who have visited almost every single European nation? The list is probably pretty short. Or nonexistent. 

Meet Solomon Stephens: a senior who has accomplished all that and then some. In fact, his travels have now brought him to the very heart of the sports world—a hub of culture and vibrance, and a place where history is being written and shaped with every play: the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022. 

Stephen’s experiences at the World Cup have been unmatched by any others in his life, and his passion for football has been deepened by this opportunity. 

“The World Cup is the greatest sports competition of all time, and for me it is so much more,” Stephens said. “The fervor in everyone’s countenances and the excitement and fan base is unmatched by any other sport—it really drives my excitement.”

Although the Cup has been otherworldly for Stephens and his family, the road to get there wasn’t all smooth sailing. 

“I was only able to go to one game, USA vs Iran, on the day I flew into Doha. Considering that we’ve been planning this trip for two years, everything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong,” Stephens said. “The owner of the house we were going to stay at for free died and all the original people that we were going to Qatar with completely abandoned us and didn’t go.”

Despite the struggles he faced on his journey to Qatar, Stephens was blown away by the environment he found there.

“The cultural variety at the World Cup was impeccable,” Stephens said. “We basically met people native to over 50 nations. Tons of Qatarians took selfies with my family and I because they never have a chance to see foreigners besides during the World Cup.”

Stephens will leave Qatar with far more passion and love for the game than he came with. A long time fan of soccer and a guest at The Pearl, a hub for teams’ players, Stephens got a chance to live among some of his most inspirational icons. His favorite, however, is undisputed.