On the heels of the failed attempt to lure Dominic Oduro from the Montreal Impact by Sporting Club CEO, Robb Heineman, it appears Sporting Kansas City have turned their attention to another winger from Ghana. This time the club appears to be targeting Latif Blessing.
Blessing played for the Liberty Professionals in the Ghana Premier League last season and actually won their league MVP award. Part of what contributed to that award were the 17 goals (also a league best) he knocked into the back of the net.
If this rumor has any truth to it, it seems like just the kind of scoring threat Sporting KC need from their wingers. Jacob Peterson was the most prolific scorer not named Dom Dwyer with six goals in 2016 (yeah, that still feels weird to say) and he just joined Atlanta United. Outside Peterson the only wingers on the roster are the often unhealthy Graham Zusi and the newly promoted Swope Park Ranger, Tyler Pasher.
Zusi appeared in just 21 games in 2016 and netted just two goals. Pasher faired better with 24 appearances and five goals, but that came in the USL.
GhanaSoccerNet.com is reporting the deal is for two-years with an option for a third. They also have Emmanual Appiah, a fellow native Ghanaian, helping Blessing transition to life in MLS. That’d be great except he had his option declined earlier in the offseason.
Latif is just 19-years-old. Not only would he have the potential to inject some much needed scoring, but he would definitely make this team younger immediately. Lets not call it a rebuild, but I’ll take exciting, young, 19-year-old wingers over the old and injured options that were on the field last season (ie. Justin Mapp, Brad Davis). He may not come in and fit right away, but potential would appear to be there.
It will be interesting to see if this goes better than the rumored failed loan bid for striker Alberth Elis (he signed with the Houston Dynamo). Blessing has also been linked with Ajax Cape Town in the South African Premier Soccer League. They do call it silly season for a reason.