The NASL's Atlanta Silverbacks announced Friday the addition of forward Ghanaian Kwadwo Poku to the club.
“It feels really good to be joining the Silverbacks," Poku said. "Since I arrived in the United States, it has been a goal of mine to play at the professional level. I’m excited to play for someone like Eric Wynalda because he has played at the highest level as an attacking player. I think I will be able to learn a lot from him.”
Poku, 21, joins the Silverbacks after spending three seasons with local National Premier Soccer League (NPSL) side Georgia Revolution. The 6-foot-2 forward started playing with the Conyers-based club in 2011 after coming to the United States from Ghana in late 2010.
It didn’t take long for Poku to settle in with the Revolution, as he immediately became the club’s most dangerous attacking player. The Kumasi, Ghana native led the team in scoring each of the last two seasons, and even notched a team-high seven assists in 2013. Poku scored a hat-trick in the Revolution’s 4-3 win over the Real Colorado Foxes in the first round of the 2013 U.S. Open Cup – a result that set up a clash with the Silverbacks, ironically enough, in the next round.
“I was fortunate enough to attend that U.S. Open Cup game in Conyers last year, and I was very impressed with Kwadwo’s game,” said Silverbacks Technical Director Eric Wynalda. “We’re excited to bring in a young player with his abilities, and we feel that he has tremendous potential.”
Last year’s U.S. Open Cup matchup – won by the Silverbacks, 3-2 – wasn’t the only time Poku has played against his new club. The Silverbacks and Revolution met in the second round of the 2012 U.S. Open Cup as well, with Poku starting and going the distance in a 1-0 Revolution loss.
Growing up in Kumasi, Poku played in the youth system of his hometown club, Asante Kotoko SC. The club is the most successful in Ghana Premier League history, winning a record 22 championships to go along with a pair of CAF Champions League crowns.
Poku, known for his strength and finishing abilities in and around the penalty area, will join the Silverbacks when preseason training camp begins in late February.
The Silverbacks announced one other move on Friday, parting ways with forward Horace James, who will pursue other opportunites. The Jamaican scored two goals for the club in NASL action last season.
Tickets for the 2014 season are currently on sale through the Silverbacks Ticket Office, and they can be purchased by calling 404-969-4900.