There are six Major League Soccer players, and a part-time policeman, in Ghana’s 22-man squad for their tour of the United States, where they will play a game each against Mexico and the USA this week.
The Columbus Crew trio of defenders Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah and midfielder Mohammed Abu are joined in the side by Chicago Fire forward David Accam, Gershon Koffie of the New England Revolution and midfielder Kwadwo Poku, currently on loan at Miami FC from New York City FC.
The side also includes Samuel Sarfo, captain of Ghana Premier League side Liberty Professionals, who was guarding the team on police duties a year ago. Sarfo is one of five Ghana Premier League players in the side.
Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah had to make late adjustments to his original squad after the English Premier League trio of Andre Ayew (West Ham United), Jordan Ayew (Swansea City), Daniel Amartey (Leicester City), as well as Thomas Partey of La Liga side Atletico Madrid, pulled out, citing objections from their clubs.
The dates for the games (28 June vs. Mexico in Houston, 1 July vs. USA in Connecticut) do not fall within the mandatory international calendar.
Despite the withdrawals, there is still a good measure of continuity in the side. The bulk of the side that started the 5-0 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win against Ethiopia have made the trip, including captain Asamoah Gyan, who will be looking to add to his 50 international goals.
“I am really looking forward to the two games, especially the one against the USA. The games will be good for us to build on that Ethiopia win and also get some good ranking points,” Gyan told KweséESPN.
Goalkeepers: Richard Ofori (Wa All Stars), Addo Joseph (Aduana Stars)
Defenders: Harrison Afful (Columbus Crew), Nicholas Opoku (Berekum Chelsea), Lumor Agbenyenu (Munich 1860, Germany), John Boye (Sivasspor, Turkey), Rashid Sumalia (Al Gharafa, Qatar), Jonathan Mensah (Columbus Crew, USA), Jerry Akaminko ( Eskiserhispor, Turkey), Samuel Sarfo (Liberty, Ghana)
Midfielders: Mohammed Abu (Columbus Crew, USA), Isaac Sackey (Alanyaspor, Turkey), Ofori Ebenezer (Stuttgart, Germany), Winful Kwaku Cobbinah (Hearts of Oak), Frank Acheampong (Anderlecht, Belgium), Thomas Agyepong (NAC Breda, Holland), Kwadwo Poku (FC Miami),
Forwards: Asamoah Gyan (Al Alhi, UAE), Majeed Abdul Waris (Lorient FC, France), Raphael Dwamena (FC Zurich, Switzerland), David Accam (Chicago Fire), Gershon Koffie (New England Revolution)
Source: Michael Oti Adjei, KweséESPN