How players keep going when soccer and war intertwine


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A contract was waiting for Svyatik Artemenko when he entered the club office. After years of playing for university and semipro teams in Canada, the goalkeeper impressed in tryouts for Ukraine's Podillya, a professional side from the country he left when he was 2 years old. An upcoming friendly against Champions League regulars Shakhtar Donetsk emphasized the huge leap forward the move represented for his career. The next day, Artemenko lined up at an army recruitment office. Missile strikes dragged him out of a restless sleep at around five in the morning on Feb. 24, 2022. Rather than return to...