VANCOUVER, BC – Vancouver Whitecaps FC made another key addition to their roster ahead of their February 29 season opener, announcing on Tuesday the acquisition of Ghanaian central midfielder Leonard Owusu from Israeli Premier League side FC Ashdod with the use of Targeted Allocation Money.
Owusu agreed to an MLS contract through 2022, with an option for 2023. He will occupy an international roster spot and will join the team for preseason camp in the coming weeks - pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC), medical, work permit, and visa.
“Leonard is focused on improving and moving forward in his career step-by-step,” said Whitecaps FC sporting director Axel Schuster. “He is from a very good academy in Ghana, performed well playing abroad in Israel, and now is the right time for him to take on a new challenge in Vancouver. His characteristics - strong, powerful, dynamic - fit the profile we look for in his position. We are looking forward to having Leonard join our group.”
Whitecaps FC central midfielder Leonard Owusu
- 46 league appearances for Israeli Premier League club FC Ashdod, in addition to 13 matches in Israel State Cup and Toto Cup competition
- Began career with hometown club Dreams FC in Accra, Ghana
- Captained Dreams FC to 2018 GHALCA G8 Tournament championship and named MVP
“Leonard is a player with a lot of potential,” added Whitecaps FC head coach Marc Dos Santos. “He was an important player at Dreams FC, in Ghana, before going to Israel. We believe that he has the tools to succeed in this league.”
"I'm very excited to join Whitecaps FC, it's a great honour for me to wear the Blue and White and become part of the family," said Owusu. "I would like to thank Mr. Schuster and Mr. Dos Santos for their efforts, and I can't wait to repay their faith in me with my play on the pitch."
Owusu, 22, arrives in Vancouver after featuring for FC Ashdod since July 2018, initially on a year-long loan from Ghanian club Dreams FC, before joining the Israeli Premier League club on a permanent transfer. He made 46 league appearances for Ashdod, as well as an additional 13 matches in Israel State Cup and Toto Cup competition.
The 5-foot-11 midfielder began his professional career in 2015 with Dreams FC in his hometown of Accra, and twice led his club to a promotion to the Ghana Premier League. In 2018, he was named the most valuable player in the Ghana League Clubs Association G8 Tournament, as he captained Dreams FC to the championship, and scored the winner in the final. In his final season with the club, he tallied five goals and five assists in 10 matches, leading to a loan with Israeli top-flight club Ashdod.
TRANSACTION: On January 21, 2020, Whitecaps FC acquired Leonard Owusu from Israeli Premier League side FC Ashdod with the use of Targeted Allocation Money - pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC), medical, work permit, and visa. Owusu agreed to an MLS contract through 2022 with options for 2023.
Position: Central midfielder
Weight: 160 pounds
Date of Birth: June 3, 1997 in Accra, Ghana
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Previous Club: FC Ashdod (Israeli Premier League ‘18 - ’20)