12 African Players To Look Out For In Major League Soccer

By Peter Pedroncelli AFKI Original Published: March 20, 2017, 1:45 pm
Fanendo Adi - Major League SoccerFanendo Adi has been a star with the Portland Timbers - mlssoccer.com

Major League Soccer in the United States continues to be a popular league for many professional soccer stars from around the world, including some of the best African players.

The current season is no different, and African players remain a sought after commodity within the MLS due to their ability to contribute quality performances for their American clubs in the top-flight.

From Nigeria to Cameroon, Ghana to Kenya, African players call the MLS their competition of choice, and work hard on a daily basis to make their mark on the competition.

We take a look at 12 African players to look out for in American Major League Soccer.

Sources: BBCSport, NYTimes, SoccerwayGoal.com.

Jonathan Mensah

Jonathan Mensah is a new recruit for the Columbus Crew – dailysoccerghana.com

Jonathan Mensah

Having represented Ghana at two World Cups already, the defender is supremely experienced, but in the prime of his career at only 26 years old, he has a great deal to contribute to his new club Columbus Crew.

Benjamin Angoua plays for the New England Revolution. Photo: SkySports

Benjamin Angoua plays for the New England Revolution. Photo: SkySports

Benjamin Angoua

The 30-year-old centre back from Cote D’Ivoire is a recent new recruit for the New England Revolution, having previously played in France with Valenciennes and Guingamp since 2010. His defensive ability makes him a tough customer for MLS strikers to negotiate.

Fanendo Adi

Fanendo Adi has been one of the most impressive Africans in the MLS – mlssoccer.com

Fanendo Adi

Nigerian attacker Fanendo Adi represents Africa with pride when turning out for the Portland Timbers in the MLS, scoring often and contributing to his team in attack. Not a well-known in his homeland, his excellent performances have brought the physically imposing 26-year-old into the limelight.

Chicago Fire star David Accam of Ghana. Photo: HTIOT

Chicago Fire star David Accam of Ghana. Photo: HTIOT

David Accam

The attacker took some time to settle in the windy city, but once he got going he was able to please fans of the Chicago Fire with his attacking prowess, skill and speed, contributing many goals and assists since arriving at the club in 2015.

Cameroonian Ambroise Oyongo previously played for the New York Red Bulls. Photo: MLS

Cameroonian Ambroise Oyongo previously played for the New York Red Bulls. Photo: MLS

Ambroise Oyongo

Montreal Impact defender Ambroise Oyongo is another of the top class African players currently calling Major League Soccer their top-flight of choice. The 25-year-old is lauded for his reading of the game and ability to convert defence into a counterattack effectively.

Ghana's Emmanuel Boateng joined LA Galaxy in 2016. Photo: Ghanasoccernet

Ghana’s Emmanuel Boateng joined LA Galaxy in 2016. Photo: Ghanasoccernet

Emmanuel Boateng

The 23-year-old Ghanaian striker joined the LA Galaxy at the start of 2016, and has gradually shown his worth since then, scoring goals and proving a menace to opposition defensive systems. At such a young age, he can mature and develop further into one of the best strikers in the league in future years.

Harrison Afful is a defender for Columbus Crew. Photo: YouTube

Harrison Afful is a defender for Columbus Crew. Photo: YouTube

Harrison Afful

An established Ghana international, 30-year-old Harrison Afful is a defender with a flair for attacking, resembling a typical Brazilian player in his ability to burst forward with pace and skill. The back represents Columbus Crew and has done so since 2015.

Lawrence Olum has been in the MLS since 2011. Photo: Fourthofficial

Lawrence Olum has been in the MLS since 2011. Photo: Fourthofficial

Lawrence Olum

Olum is the only Kenyan player currently taking part in Major League Soccer action, with the 32-year-old who was born in Nairobi having been in the United States since 2006 when he played college soccer. He has played in the American top-flight as a defender and midfielder since 2011, representing Kansas City before joining the Portland Timbers in 2016.

Nigerian Stephen Sunday now plays in the MLS. Photo: Footballlive

Nigerian Stephen Sunday now plays in the MLS. Photo: Footballlive

Stephen Sunday

Affectionately known as Sunny, Sunday is a tough-as-nails defensive midfielder for Real Salt Lake, bringing a typical Nigerian physicality into his play that is respected and appreciated in the MLS. He has been with Salt Lake since 2016, and at 28 he still has a great deal to give to his club.

Kei Kamara is a Major League Soccer veteran. Photo: Major League Soccer

Kei Kamara is a Major League Soccer veteran. Photo: Major League Soccer

Kei Kamara

A veteran of Major League Soccer, Sierra Leone international Kamara played for the likes of Columbus Crew, San Jose, Houston and Kansas City from 2006 to 2013, and from 2015 he has been with the New England Revolution. A tally of 22 goals in 33 games made sure he was joint top scorer in the season before last.

Dominique Badji plays for the Colorado Rapids. Photo: Alchetron

Dominique Badji plays for the Colorado Rapids. Photo: Alchetron

Dominique Badji

The Senegalese striker, who was born in the capital Dakar, has spent much of his life in the United States, completing the last years of high school in Virginia before playing college soccer. The talented 24-year-old joined the Colorado Rapids in 2015, and while he is yet to set the league alight, he has the potential to do so.

Chris Mavinga is one of the many African players in the MLS. Photo: Foot Mercato

Chris Mavinga is one of the many African players in the MLS. Photo: Foot Mercato

Chris Mavinga

Congolese soccer player Mavinga may be only 25, but the new addition to Major League Soccer has already spent time playing in France, Belgium and Russia during his professional career. The DR Congo international joined Toronto FC this year, and may prove to be one of the touchest defenders in the league.

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