Kit launches are less important than player signings, I don’t care what the readership stats say. Fortunately, seems like Wanderers understand this, dropping two signings to distract from the shiny shirts.
Mohamed Kourouma is the main highlight here, a lanky and inventive winger who posted rather nice numbers for a decent PDL side in FC Miami City in 2017. 11 goals in 13 regular season games is nothing to sneeze at. He has a pretty extensive set of highlight videos, but this one’s the pick of the lot:
That’s a very nice header. (Also, he’s called MoMo.)
There’s been an interesting pipeline of players from PDL into CanPL–I’m planning to write about it a bit more in my season preview piece, mainly around Cavalry. It’s fair to ask how ex-PDLers will handle the jump to playing against professionals–there will, and should, be one–but there are also good teams and players in PDL–the 2017 MVP was Brian White, who’s now a solid young player in MLS for the Red Bulls. Miami were a solid enough team in a slightly weaker Southern conference, and Kourouma was named to the conference all-star team.
His 2018 is something of a mystery–he popped up at the open trials, which is where Hart found him, and according to an interview in the video linked above, he’s had professional interest before. He was a youth player at well-respected Dutch side Fortuna Sittard and has played youth minutes against some of the best academies in the world.
Kourouma fills a bit of a hole for Wanderers on the left wing, probably his most natural position, though he’s very much a wide striker and he’s big enough to do spot duty as a #9, too, if Luis Perea were to get hurt1If you watch the clip above, you’ll see he’s already quite used to being confused with a Perea.
I was a little surprised Wanderers signed one winger, let alone two. Abd-El-Aziz Yousef is much more of a prospect. CanPL teams need to give a minimum of 1000 minutes to U21 players, and Yousef is 19. He’s a bit of a black box when it comes to info, but according to the team’s release he’s had trials with Dutch teams as well and can play either attacking midfield or on the right.
A little more depth behind Juan Gutierrez wouldn’t go amiss, and while Wanderers aren’t an old squad exactly, a lot of the younger players had been 22 – 23, so Yousef will likely see some of those youth minutes along with guys like Scott Firth and Vincent Lamy.
Neither player was mentioned as being in camp, and both will likely start training with the team in the Dominican Republic next week.