MLS- Montreal Impact

MLS Notes: Nyarko gets Ghana call-up, Wenger used at forward and more


Photo by Tracy Allen/ISIphotos.com

Dominic Oduro won't be the only member of the Chicago Fire getting his first taste of international soccer in Wednesday's Ghana-Chile friendly at PPL Park.

Patrick Nyarko has been called in as a late addition to Ghana's roster, marking his first call-up on the international level. According to the Fire's official website, a pair of Ghanaian strikers had visa issues that prevented them from making the trip, and according to the Ghana FA, Jordan and Andre Ayew also pulled out of the squad due to injury, giving Nyarko his chance.

For the speedy Nyarko, whose career path from Ghana to the United States has been chronicled by SBI, the oportunity is his first on the international stage. In past comments, Nyarko, who holds a green card, alluded to being open to playing for the United States, but he is not yet a U.S. citizen, leaving one option on the table.

"The chance of playing for the U.S. is something I just said at the time," Nyarko told the Fire's website. "It was me answering a hypothetical question of 'if the chance presents itself.' Right now the opportunity has come with Ghana, and that's all there is to it."

Here are a couple of more items from around MLS:


When he came out of college, No. 1 overall 2012 MLS SuperDraft pick Andrew Wenger projected to be used as a defensive midfielder or a centerback on the professional level despite succeeding as a forward in his last year at Duke. He starred as a centerback for Blue Devils in 2010 and has played there for the U.S. Under-23 national team as well. 

His most recent showing for the Montreal Impact has convinced the club's technical staff that he may belong up top, though.

Montreal coach Jesse Marsch has liked what he has seen from Wenger in a forward role, hinting that he could be an answer at striker for the club. He showed well in a friendly against Sporting Kansas City, setting up Mike Fucito for the club's lone goal.   

"He has all the tools to be effective at lots of different positions," Marsch told TSN. "That's why everybody's played him all over. But I look at him as an attacking player and primarily as a forward."

Wenger scored 17 goals last season at Duke, winning ACC Offensive Player of the Year honors.


Chivas USA's uneven preseason continued Monday night, as the club was shut out by Swedish side AIK 2-0 in the Portland Tournament at Jeld-Wen Field. Viktor Lundberg and Lalawele Atakora scored on either end of halftime to account for AIK's goals.

Juan Pablo Angel had a first-half goal whistled back for being offside after newcomer Miller Bolanos played him through for the Goats' best chance. Chivas put out a largely first-choice lineup for the match but fell to 3-6-0 against all competition in the preseason.

Chivas will play against the Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes as part of the tournament later in the week.


What do you think about Oduro and Nyarko getting chances with Ghana? Do you think Montreal should be using Wenger at forward? What's your take on Chivas USA's outlook going forward?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Felix

    Wenger is going to fall the way of Geoff Cameron. He’s so versatile that he never truly learns a position.

    I believe Geoff Cameron would be much farther along in his development as a CB if he would have played the position more through the years. His versatility is his best and worst attribute.

    I’m afraid we are going to see the same thing with Wenger.


  • Aljarov

    Wenger started the game at right midfield from what I could see form the stands. He was at times more central, but mostly appeared to be in front of Calum Mallace who was out of position at RB. In all, Montreal had 5 natural central midfielders on the pitch at once in various positions.

    They moved Wenger up top as they were getting nothing from Acosta next to Fucito, swapping him with Wenger. After the move, the #1 pick was excellent and absolutely owned SKC pick Cyprian Hedrick (who looked awful) for the rest of the time he was on the pitch. The goal was all about him turning Hedrick, showing him a clean set of heels and muscling off his attempt to recover before putting the ball on a platter to Fucito to knock in. Very encouraging…but Fucito/Wenger (who isn’t even going to start the season with the team) isn’t exactly a sure bet, especially for an expansion side.


  • detroitFIRE

    Congrats to Nyarko- he deserves it. I think he has real potential at the international level, perhaps more so than in a physical league like MLS.


  • Al17

    With whom? As long as the Ayew brothers are in the mix, he’s going to have problems getting many looks from Ghana.

    FYI, it’s a bit more physical at the international level and especially during African qualifying.

    Hope he and Oduro have great games for Ghana tomorrow and of course always nice to see Fire players called up to National Teams.


  • Shmenge

    Chivas lets Justin Braun go, JPA is a year older, and they get no big foreign signings at forward.

    No wonder they can’t score.

    These teams like New England, Montreal and Chivas thinking their midfields can create most of the offense for them in a 34-game season are going to have a rude awakening.


  • Dino1er

    I think my goats will be ok. This is the most excited i’ve been since the Preki years. We have a lot of new guys, we just need a lil time to gel. It’s going to be hard to make it to the playoffs out of the west, but we will give it a good run.


  • Edwin in LA

    Why? No Braun, no Valentin, they picked up a college kid in Townsend who is not ready to be a reliable goal scorer, still no defined holding mid, please I hope not to see Simon Elliot that’s just embarrassing and who exactly will be their CBs this year? Pearce again with whom?

    No keeper past Dan Kennedy who is not like he has shown much other than last year…

    They really must expect Angel back since I haven’t seen anything confirming he’ll play but yet he keeps playing in preseason and from Alejandro Moreno


  • The Imperative Voice

    I definitely agree that Kinnear’s CB experiment wasted some of the Dynamo’s and Cameron’s time. His lanky strides and crossing always had me thinking more “winger,” which is where he actually debuted. Long strides are not necessarily what you want in a CM. He is more physically suited to CB and is good at man marking with a player coming at him or when he’s right on the guy.

    But in terms of his international value the issue I see is ball watching and whether he loses his man. Berbatov at the all star game, the red card in the friendly. He has better speed than Ream, Goodson, or others to stay with his man, but he’s gotta watch falling asleep when they make runs out of eye line.

    He’s got the physical and marking tools to make the 23 right now, the question in terms of being an impact player is more mental. I think the versatility has delayed his having to learn some of the positioning aspects of defense, but he’s either going to get it or not.

    Wenger is younger, he has time, players like Alrbight (and Cameron) shifted around, key thing is whether he shows well in at least one spot and sticks. I’d be more worried if we’re talking about this in 2-3 years.


  • Good Jeremy

    The same Simon Elliot who was a key to some stellar LA seasons and recently was a starter for New Zealand in the world cup? How is he an embarrassment? The team could use a couple more of him.


  • Manny

    Nyarko is going to get more chances with the quality Chicago has brought in. He is the definition of a super-sub.


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