TAMPA, Fla. – Ventura County Fusion star and 2022 USL League Two Playoff Final MVP Nathaniel Opoku has signed a professional contract with the Premier League’s Leicester City Football Club, the club announced Tuesday.
The Ghanaian-born forward burst onto the scene during the 2022 League Two season, scoring eight goals and adding three assists in a campaign that saw him selected to the All-League team at the end of the season. He added three more goals and an assist in only five playoff games, taking his total to 15 goal contributions in 16 games.
His silky dribbling, soft first touch and powerful shot propelled Ventura County Fusion to their second USL League Two title.
“We are delighted for Nate, he is an incredible young man who has a special talent,” Ranbir Shergill, Ventura County Fusion President, said. “He did things on the field that others couldn’t and was always an incredible leader and teammate. His match winning performances in our League Two title run last season will always be remembered. This is only the start for him, and we look forward to him excelling as a professional in Europe at the highest level.”
As the summer wore on, defenses couldn’t keep Opoku out of their net. Over Ventura County’s last eight games, including the playoffs, Opoku poured in six goals and two assists, including superlative strikes in both the National Semifinals and Playoff Final.
That success in the summer immediately translated to a successful college season, as Opoku transferred to Syracuse University and helped the Orange claim their first NCAA Division I National Championship.
“Nathaniel Opoku is an outstanding talent,” said Fusion Head Coach Mike Elias. “He is not only a great player scoring a multitude of important and sometimes breathtaking goals, but is also a great human being. An acrobatic overhead bicycle kick and a well-earned MVP award in the Playoff Final was typical of his game and just defines his character.”
Opoku will go on loan to Belgian club OH Leuven to start his professional career.