After striker Mrisho Ngasa qualified in his trials at Seattle Sounders, the US-based side has said they will open a soccer academy in Tanzania.
A statement released yesterday by the Seattle Sounders Vice President, Lance Lopez, stated that the club had reached the decision to open the academy in the country following a call made by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete
The president invited firms to invest in sports and tourism when he saw Ngasa playing for Seattle Sounders in a friendly match against English Premier League
Champions Manchester United last month. Ngasa’s side were hammered 7-0.
Lopez’s statement also noted that Sounders will take three players from Tanzania for trials every year after discovering that the country has many talented players.
“We will take one player from the senior side and the rest two who will be in the Under-17 category to join our youth academy,” the statement read.
Lopez said the aim of introducing an academy in Tanzania is to give local players chances to play in Europe the way West Africa
On his part, African Lyon
manager Rahim Zamunda, said that the project will help East Africa
to be known especially when their players will play for top sides in Europe.
Ngassa went to the Sounders on trial from Azam FC
of Tanzania as the Sounders looked to expand the breadth of their scouting into the often un-scouted countries in East Africa.
Kurt Schmid travelled to Tanzania last year to watch the national team (Taifa Stars) to assess them. With his eye and the recommendation of the team’s head coach Jan Poulsen
, Ngassa was selected for trials with the Sounders.