It’s not Sergio Busquets, not even Lionel Messi. But the fact remains that Kwadwo Opoku’s arrival at CF Montreal has sent a very positive message to the entire squad, which is in the midst of fighting for a place in the playoffs with 14 games left to go.
Acquired Wednesday from Los Angeles FC for a general allocation of $1,650,000 in 2023 and another $100,000 in 2024, the Ghanaian athlete will be on a mission to reinvigorate an offense that is struggling to find the back of the game. network from the start. of the MLS season.
In 20 matches, CF has already scored only 20 goals, which puts them in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, tied with Inter Miami. The club was also locked out for their last 2 matches and with a 3-game series against direct competitors in the standings starting Saturday night at Stade Saputo against Atlanta United, something had to be done.
“I am so happy, I am so excited [de l’ajout de Kwadwo]Coach Hernán Losada told reporters Thursday morning before training for his team. He is a player with a slightly different profile [de ses nouveaux coéquipiers]. He has speed, is able to create individual moves and can be used as a winger or as a striker.
“He’s going to help us and he’s going to bring something we don’t have in the front group of the team at the moment. Having said that, it’s going to be our job (for the coaches’ group, editor’s note) to look for the best combination, the best balance of [Kwadwo] And for the team. »
“We welcomed the news that playoffs are more possible than ever,” said quarterback Bryce Duke, who played alongside Opoku in the LAFC a few years ago. A player of his caliber, who won the MLS Cup, can only make us better. We will have more depth and competition for minutes. »
Just like Duke — which was acquired from Inter Miami along with Ariel Lassiter in favor of Kamal Miller earlier in April — the Montreal organization has always had an Opoku on the horizon. Losada also explained that the curriculum had been implemented even before his appointment.
Opoku trained at Godwin Atram Academy and Piet de Viser in Ghana, then joined LAFC in October 2020, quickly rising to fame by scoring the winning goal in the CONCACAF Champions League quarter-final against Cruz Azul in December of the same year.
He then injured his knee while on loan at the Las Vegas Lights in 2021 before returning to Los Angeles, scoring 7 goals in 34 games in 2022. This year, he has two goals in 19 games, but has been used more as a substitute in the past month.
But no matter what role he’s given, Duke is confident Opoku will be able to bond with his new teammates. “He’s a really good guy that everybody can get along with, but also off the field,” Duke said.
“I’m convinced he’ll provide the spark we need. He’s got a bad left foot,” Duke continued, using an expression the Frasier twins would never disown.
For his part, Losada was unable to say when Opoku would debut with Bleu-blanc-noir, stating that administrative subtleties might delay his arrival with the team. However, he confirmed that he would be involved in more than one practice before his first official match, unlike Duke and Lassiter who got sucked into the heart of the matter very quickly.
Ultimately, Losada will not say whether he wants the club’s management to continue their search for new players, in which case that could mean inviting some to leave.
“I’m happy with the group of players that we have now,” he concluded.
Note that the current summer transfer window in MLS will end on August 2nd.
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