Leonard Owusu - Wave jersey, at LA Galaxy

'A moment of magic': The story behind Jingles Owusu's nickname

A moment of magic.

That's what Leonard Owusu is capable of producing on the pitch, specifically during moments that could swing a match.

Legend has it that's what led to his quirky nickname, Jingles.

"We needed someone who can make a moment of magic, someone who can take one or two or three players at a point in time," said Ghanaian men's national team coach Charles Akonnor, who helped Owusu develop at Ghana's famed Dreams FC. "He was the one who was doing that so I kept telling him, 'Jingles, jingle the opponent.' That's how the name came about."

But make no mistake, there's more to Owusu's game. 

Fans got a glimpse of what he can bring to the 'Caps in their last match prior to the MLS season coming to a pause, a hard-earned road win at LA Galaxy. Owusu came on late and didn't put a foot wrong, completing each of his four passes, winning a pair of duels and a tackle, while tallying a clearance and a recovery.

In just six minutes of tense action, he ticked off every box for what a defensive midfielder should be able to do in that situation. 

Hardly the marvel and flair that he became known for as a dynamic playmaker growing up, but valuable contributions that would help seal a clean sheet in a raucous and hostile atmosphere.

"When I was a no. 10, I was able to dribble, make penetrating passes, I was able to make something out of difficult moments during the game," said Owusu, who converted to a deeper midfield role at Israeli Premier League club FC Ashdod. "I'm still able to produce that moment of magic as a no. 6. Now it's one-touch, two-touch. It should be more than holding the ball."  

He plays a different position now, but it's no sleight of hand.

Owusu still finds ways to jingle the opponent.