PHILADELPHIA - In entirety and unfiltered. Take a read over all the quotes from FC Dallas at the 2018 MLS SuperDraft.
On Francis Atuahene…
I saw a lot of IQ there. He has instincts that can put him in a good spot in the final third.
On Ema Twumasi and Francis Atuahene fitting in with the current offense..
“I didn’t expect to have him available at No. 11. I was aiming for one of them and another player on my wish list. For me, it was a luxury to get Ema at No. 11. He can complement well with the players we have, for sure they can help each other. [Francis and Ema] developed together when they were young. They will feel more familiar being close to one another. Those things are positives for FC Dallas.
On the relevance of the MLS draft..
The draft shouldn’t die, ever. The structure of American soccer is great. We have the opportunity to sign players that have gone through the academy system – that is fantastic – but there are other players that want to go to college. That is great. To give them the opportunity to play professionally at the age of 23 or 24, when they already have their degrees is fantastic. There are obviously challenges for them ahead but we have to find ways to overcome them. The college game shouldn’t die.
On Mauro Cichero..
We did our homework on Mauro Cichero. We have had a lot of contact with SMU. It’s an organization that is tied to our heart. Mauro showed very well during the college season. Unfortunately he had this injury. For sure, I believe that it is not going to separate him from the game. [An ACL injury] is something that has happened to many players around the world that have founds ways to get back to being their best. We will wait for Mauro. There isn’t any rush for us to have him preforming. We wait for Mauro and when he recovers we can see what he brings to the table.
On Chris Lema..
We saw a lot of technique. I saw a lot of composure on the ball and a player who is very smart to glue people together in the middle. We are overloading the middle, but we can find other programs where we can place these guys and let them mature. We’ll see if one of them can excel and then bring them to the first team. For me, to see a player that we believe can excel is more important than just bringing a guy to camp.
On the formula for players possibly heading the USL..
We still have some players that we need to create a precise plan for them with our affiliation in USL. I want that exercise to be real. I want to have hope for these guys to be part of our first team and not just an exercise. We said today to select players that we really believe in.
On taking three forwards players..
The draft lacked a little bit in defenders this year, in my opinion. It was hard to choose a defender, which is opposite of what I saw in previous combines. In the past, I saw an overload of defenders with not a lot of quality up front or in the middle. This year, I wanted to take advantage of the fact that these guys were there. I want to adapt them to our model.
On FC Dallas trading into the No. 4 spot to take him..
I feel very privileged to be part of an organization that showed it really wanted me. It will motivate me to try harder and do my best every day. I will try and help my team win as much as possible and hopefully bring a championship to Dallas.
On his game..
“My game is a very, very fast-paced style. I make a lot of runs and get up and down the field. I am always cutting and trying to make moves in the final third. That is something FC Dallas fans are going to like. I’m going to bring that exciting game of mine to the team. Just work hard every day and adapt to the system. I am honestly just honored to be part of the organization. I am ready to go in there, work hard and earn my spot on the team.
On the Right to Dream Academy..
Where I come from in Ghana, not everyone has the opportunity. I know back in my village, there were kids that were even better than me that did not get this opportunity. For me, part of being a professional player, part of having an education is making a difference in other people’s lives. That is what I plan on doing. There is a lot talent in the world but people just don’t have the opportunity. I want to give opportunities to people. Being in Dallas, I will be able to help to that while also focusing on giving my best on the field.
On what it means to be drafted by FC Dallas..
It means a lot to be drafted by FC Dallas. It’s a club i follow a lot because of Jacori Hayes and Brandon Servania, a couple Wake Forest friends I have, so i follow them a lot and, them recruiting Francis, it means a lot it means everything to me to be on this stage today.
On Knowing Jacori Hayes & Brandon Servania..
It’s exciting because when Brandon signed the Homegrown contract we were talking back and forth and the first thing he said was “I can’t wait to play with you in Dallas”. It’s funny because I was talking to Jacori last night and he said the same thing: “I really wish you to come to Dallas.” To hear my name come up for FC Dallas I think is a blessing for me to be on the same stage with a couple of my best friends from Wake Forest.
On what it means to continue his soccer career..
It means a lot. A kid from Ghana, I came from nowhere. Right to Dream brought me in, made me feel at home and supported me throughout my journey (and) they’ve kept supporting me. To be able to be on the same team with Francis it;s a blessing, too. Coming from Right to Dream for almost 10 years and to be on the same stage with Francis is really special.
On being roommates with Francis Autahene the night before the SuperDraft..
Maybe roommates when we get to Dallas. Yeah, for sure. It will be fun to always be with Francis because I have known him for so long. We’re from almost the same place in Ghana. We’re like 30 minutes away so I’ve always known Francis. It’s great, it’s really great to be on the same team as Francis.
On his style of play and how he fits in with FC Dallas..
Before I went to college I was a number nine, sometimes dropping in behind the number nine. But then I went to college and my coach thought that my playing on the wing would be the best fit for me. I never played there before I went to college and I made the adjustment and I really enjoy playing on the wing. I think I’m a winger now and I really do enjoy playing there. I am here to serve the team wherever the coach need me to play. I’ll be ready to play and do a good job for the team.
On what he’s looking forward to as he joins FC Dallas for training camp..
I’m just going there to compete for a spot right away. That’s always been my goal to compete. There’s a lot of people coming to compete. So far, what I’ve done in college absolutely means nothing at this stage. I gotta go there and earn my jersey and that’s exactly what I’m willing to do.