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Ebenezer Ofori’s return important to New York City FC midfield

Ebenezer Ofori (left) will add a bite to the midfield for New York City FC. (Noah K. Murray/USA TODAY Sports)

On Nov. 29, New York City FC declined the options of seven players, including Ghanaian international Ebenezer Ofori.

However, City continued to negotiate with the midfielder, and Ofori signed his second consecutive one-year loan Tuesday with an option to buy from Bundesliga side, VfB Stuttgart.

“We’re really excited to bring Ebenezer back to New York for the 2019 season,” NYCFC Sporting Director Claudio Reyna said. “He played a key role in our midfield last season and will bring even more continuity to spine of our team. He knows what it takes to succeed in this league and we expect him to build off his 2018 performance.”

Ofori, who was coveted by former New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira, started in 21 of his 28 appearances – an important figure at defensive midfield in the absence of the injured Yangel Herrera.  With Herrera’s departure for Huesca in La Liga, Ofori’s return adds a needed bite to the midfield for City.

“It was very important to bring back Eben,” NYCFC head coach Dome Torrent said. “He understands what we want to do tactically and brings a unique quality to our midfield. He’s experienced in this league and at the international level and I’m very happy to have him back in the squad.”

The 23-year old Ofori made his debut for Ghana in February of 2017 and has been capped nine times for the Black Stars. He scored his only international goal in the African Cup of Nations qualifier versus Ethiopia in 2017.

Ofori made 81 appearances over three seasons for AIK in Sweden’s top tier and in 2015 was named the Midfielder-of-the-Year in the Allsvenskan.

At Stuttgart, Ofori contributed to the club’s promotion in 2017 with nine appearances but played in just one Bundesliga match prior to his New York City transfer during the 2018 preseason. Ofori had one goal and no assists for the Cityzens – his lone MLS finish was the fourth and final tally in a 4-0 drubbing of Real Salt Lake at Yankee Stadium.

 

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