Indianapolis-He’s part of the last team at IU to taste a National Championship.
Former Hoosier soccer star Femi Hollinger-Janzen returned to Indiana on Wednesday night with his Birmingham Legion FC team to face the Indy Eleven. However, before even getting to this point, it all started in 1993 when Femi was born in Benin, Africa.
After a rough early life that included a deformed leg and a jailed biological mother, Femi was adopted in 1999 by Lynda and Rod Hollinger-Janzen and one year later was brought to Goshen, Indiana by them. This is where his soccer career began that eventually led to IU.
After scoring 155 goals in high school the Hoosiers took notice.
“I attended the Indiana University Soccer Camp not really knowing who (IU coach) Todd Yeagley really was or what he looked like,” Hollinger-Janzen said. “My high school coach Hank Williams told me to go out there and play the best I can.”
This led to an IU offer where Femi would commit and have a standout career.
It all started his freshman season when the Hoosiers won the National title as a 16 seed getting hot after an up and down regular season. Hollinger-Janzen, who scored the game winning goal against the Creighton Blue Jays in the College Cup Semi-finals, said the team came together at the right time after the less successful then hoped season.
“Regular season obviously didn’t go as planned,” he said. “Then we got together as a team and we’re like ‘we’ve got to figure this out’, we went on that run and won the national championship. It was an exuberant feeling.”
For his four year career, Femi scored 22 goals playing both forward and midfield and had nothing but positive things to say about his time as a Hoosier.
“I loved my time at IU,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade it for any other four years anywhere else.”
Hollinger-Janzen then graduated and in early 2016 was taken by the MLS’ New England Revolution where he had a three year career making 32 appearances and scoring two goals. This has led up to this year, where Femi signed with the USL’s Birmingham Legion. Here he has played in 11 of 16 games with seven starts in 690 minutes.
Back in his home state in Indianapolis, he was brought in as a sub off the bench in the 56th minute where his team lost 3-0. Hollinger-Janzen said he was happy to provide energy when entering the game.
“Coming off the bench we were down 2-0 so I just wanted to bring a spark,” he said. “Also on the defensive end be sound back there and cover that outside winger.”
Hollinger-Janzen, who played both forward and midfield in his career at IU, said he is happy to cover whatever position is needed moving forward and enjoys being versatile.
“Being flexible is really important,” he said. “Being able to bring both sides to your team and help them out that way.”