Ghanaians in MLS & NASL: Patrick Nyarko shines again, Derek Boateng vs. Kalif Alhassan ends in a draw

At least 12 known Ghanaians played various roles for their respective clubs in the Major League Soccer (MLS) and the North American soccer League (NASL) over the weekend in the United States and Canada.

DC United’s Ghanaian winger Patrick Nyarko played a huge role in his side’s 2-0 victory over arch-rivals New York Red Bulls in last weekend’s MLS regular season Week 11 encounter.

There were as many as four Ghanaians on parade when DC United and New York Red Bulls met in their first Atlantic Cup game of the 2016 season on Friday but it was Nyarko who laughed last when he led DC to a comprehensive victory at the RFK Stadium.

The hosts opened the scoring on the 20th minute when Nyarko set up Marcelo Sarvas with a perfect through ball into the box. The Brazilian then sent a low cross through the box to Alvaro Saborio, who tapped it into an open net.

Nyarko added a goal just before the break, as he poked home Lamar Neagle's cross from the right flank, his third goal of the young season.

He played the entire duration of the game but his Ghanaian teammate, Kofi Opare was an unused substitute. Lloyd Sam played 33 minutes for Red Bulls but compatriot Gideon Baah watched the game from the bench on his return from a groin injury.

In a top-of-the-table Eastern Conference clash, striker Dominic Oduro’s Montreal Impact and defender Joshua Yaro’s Philadelphia Union defied the heavy downpour and settled for a 1-1 draw at the Saputo Stadium.

Both Oduro and Yaro played the entire duration for their respective clubs.

Black Stars defender Harrison Afful was also influential in Columbus Crew’s 1-1 draw with Colorado Rapids who are currently regarded as the best team in the MLS.

Afful played the entire duration of the game and provided an assist to their only goal in the encounter. In a short post match interview, Afful said he and his teammates were already focused on their next game.

“We are doing a great job. It is not easy to play the best team in the league; We have to keep the determination high, keep fighting and keep working hard each and every day; we have to keep our heads up and make sure we deliver in the next coming games”, Afful noted.

Midfielder Gershon Koffie played 64 minutes for New England Revolution as they defeated striker David Accam’s Chicago Fire by 2-0.

The game marked Accam’s long-awaited return to action after a knee injury. He played the last 45 minutes of the game for Chicago.

Kwadwo Poku was an unused substitute when New York City FC defeated Portland Timbers by 2-1 on the road.

In the NASL, former Black Stars midfielder Derek Boateng and his Rayo OKC teammates snatched a 1-1 draw at Kalif Alhassan’s Tampa Bay Rowdies.

Boateng played 82 minutes for Rayo with Alhassan playing 72 minutes for the Rowdies.
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