As his health club empire approaches its third decade, Bahram Akradi’s latest Life Time endeavor is more about sense than cents, more an homage to his past than a fixation on his future.
He wants kids in the United States to enjoy pickup soccer the way he did throughout his childhood in Iran.
“In every neighborhood, there were goals, which were sometimes just a few bricks, and a bunch of kids,” says Akradi, who was born in Tehran, Iran. “You pick one (player), and I pick one and when there was 5-on-5 you play.
“That was every day, after school, my whole life growing up.”
At least until he was 17… when he emigrated to the United States.
He struggled to find consistent and convenient opportunities to play the game he loves in the U.S. — and Akradi believes that widespread challenge is limiting this country’s soccer standing worldwide.
“In order for the U.S. to have a chance to compete against Brazil or Argentina . . .