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Defender Jonathan Mensah joins growing number of Ghanaians in MLS


Black Stars defender Jonathan Mensah is the latest Ghanaian to join the Major League Soccer (MLS).

The former Anzhi Makhachkala star will join a growing number of Ghanaians in the MLS when the 2017 season commences in March.

Mensah, 26, will play alongside Ghanaian teammate Harrison Afful in the heart of Columbus Crew SC’s defense after the Columbus outfit signed him on as a Designated Player.

The Crew officially announced on Tuesday that they have signed the 26-year-old Ghanaian defender as a Designated Player.

“We are pleased to announce the signing of central defender Jonathan Mensah as a Designated Player.

“Jonathan is a physically dominant central defender who at a young age has already proven himself on the world’s biggest stage. We look forward to him making an immediate impact in Columbus”, Crew SC sporting director and head coach Gregg Berhalter said in a statement released by the club.

Mensah started every group stage match for Ghana at the 2014 World Cup. He also featured for the Black Stars at the 2010 tournament in South Africa, starting twice in the group stage and playing the full 120 minutes in the country’s 2-1 win over the US in the Round of 16. And he played a pivotal role in Ghana’s run to the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations final, playing every minute of every match at the competition.

Mensah joins midfielder Federico Higuain as the second Designated Player on Crew SC’s roster. He’s also the second Ghanaian international defender on Columbus’ backline, following right back Harrison Afful.

“One of our offseason priorities was to sign a second Designated Player that has the ability to make an impact both on and off the field,” said Berhalter. “With Jonathan's vast playing experience and strong character we believe he will fit into our club nicely. We are pleased that Jonathan chose Columbus as a place to continue his development.”

Jonathan Mensah has participated in five major international tournaments at the senior level: 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2014 FIFA World Cup, the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, and the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations.

In a short message to the fans of Columbus Crew, Mensah who is on an international assignment with the Black Stars said he couldn’t wait any longer to join the Columbus Crew family.

Montreal Impact Ghanaian striker Dominic Oduro was among those who welcomed the Ghanaian international to the MLS as he tweeted: “Welcome to MLS. Happy to have another brother from the motherland join us”.
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