Former NC State men’s soccer captain Farouk Bseiso died on July 9, 2014 while on vacation with his family in Prague, Czech Republic, The News & Observer reported.
Bseiso, 24, was playing professionally in Finland, on loan at FC Viikingit from his parent club, FC Espoo.
He was expected to rejoin Espoo at the end of this month.
Reports from Viikingit and Espoo’s websites said the cause of death was carbon monoxide poisoning while at a rented apartment in Prague.
The Raleigh native played four years at NC State, from 2008–2011, and was one of two players selected as captains during head coach Kelly Findley’s first season in charge.
Known as a tremendously hard worker, Bseiso, a defensive central midfielder, won a pair of high school state championships as captain of St. David’s School, as well as a USASA championship with the local Carolina Railhawks’ U-23 team.
Recruited by former head coach George Tarantini, Bseiso overcame doubts about his physicality to establish himself as a key component of the Wolfpack program.
Bseiso helped the 2009 State soccer team reach the ACC Championship game and the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The former midfielder and his family moved to Tunisia shortly after his birth, where he fostered his love of the game until returning to the United States when he was six years old.
Upon returning to the U.S. for educational reasons, Bseiso refined his ability at Triangle Football Club, before deciding to push for a place at the collegiate level his freshman year of high school.
After setting a goal to play soccer for a Division I school, Bseiso formed a bond with St. David’s head coach, Jose Cornejo. Cornejo thoroughly educated Bseiso on the game and worked with him to progress in every area for improvement.
Coincidentally, coach Cornejo and NC State head coach Tarantini were long-time friends, causing Bseiso to emerge on the Wolfpack head coach’s radar throughout his high school career. Bseiso also participated in the N.C. State soccer camps, which also enhanced his connection with Tarantini.
NC State was not the only school interested in recruiting Bseiso. Universities with high-quality soccer programs such as North Carolina, Davidson and Appalachian State also looked to acquire the senior from St. David’s. Bseiso, however, chose to join the Wolfpack and continue to play the game he loved in his hometown.
Bseiso’s first year at N.C. State did not come easy, as questions rose about his strength and speed capabilities. After continuous hard work and determination in the offseason, Bseiso earned a starting spot at midfielder in his sophomore year.
In 2009, Bseiso led the Wolfpack to a No. 13 national ranking and a bid to the NCAA tournament, where they fell to Portland in the second round. In 2011, the first year for head coach Kelly Findley, Bseiso was named one of the two team captains. In his four-year career at State, Bseiso tallied four assists in 59 appearances.
Bseiso was well known for his dedication to his heritage. His family was originally from Palestine, and Bseiso enjoyed the mix of diversity of the Wolfpack soccer team.
Bseiso was heavily inspired by his mother, who he appreciated for doing a great job in raising him and his brother. His love was illustrated on a tattoo on his forearm, which he designed himself, bearing the Arabic symbol for “my mother.”
The former Wolfpack captain’s twin brother, Fayek Bseiso, played collegiately at Loyola University in Maryland.
Bseiso is survived by his mother, Dima Sabi, his twin brother, Fayek Bseiso, and sister, Dana Bseiso. His father, Atef Bseiso, is deceased.
Bseiso was honored with a moment of silence and black armbands before kickoff at matches by the Carolina Railhawks, FC Espoo, and FC Viikingit.