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Vancouver Whitecaps add Ghanaian Leonard Owusu to midfield

The 22-year-old, who was signed using Targeted Allocation Money, is under contract through 2022 with a club option for 2023.

Vancouver players celebrate with Brek Shea after he scored a goal during the Vancouver Whitecaps at Orlando City Soccer MLS game at Orlando City Stadium on Saturday, August 26, 2017. Vancouver won the game 2-1. (Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel)

The Vancouver Whitecaps’ transformation continued Tuesday with the club announcing the signing of Ghanaian central midfielder Leonard Owusu from Israeli Premier League side FC Ashdod.

The 22-year-old, who was signed using Targeted Allocation Money, is under contract through 2022 with a club 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, medical, work permit, and visa.

“Leonard is focused on improving and moving forward in his career step-by-step,” Whitecaps FC sporting director Axel Schuster said in a statement. “He is from a very good academy in Ghana, performed well playing aboard 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.”

Owusu made 59 appearances across all competitions for FC Ashdod after initially arriving on a year-long loan from Ghanian club Dreams FC before joining the Israeli Premier League team  on a permanent transfer.

“Leonard is a player with a lot of potential,” added Whitecaps FC 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.”

Owusu’s signing comes on the heels of Vancouver announcing additions of left back Cristian Gutierrez and winger Cristian Dajome last week.

“I’m very excited to join Whitecaps FC, it’s a great honor for me to wear the Blue and White and become part of the family,” Owusu said. “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.”

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