ROY BOATENG: Meet Ghana’s Hidden Jewel Being Tracked By The United States


Roy Boateng was born in Berekum, Ghana but had to migrate to the USA with his father at age 8 to seek greener pastures.

Like any other star, little Boateng’s talent was spotted at an early age while playing on the streets of Berekum with friends.”Growing up in Berekum really brought the best in me. The city has a rich history of churning out talents. Kids are always seen on the streets playing football and learning new tricks seen from established footballers on the television.

I have always dreamt of making a name for myself in football and I think I’m still on course to realizing that dream. The journey has been long but certainly far from being over.”

For starters, Boateng was a bit too versatile for his own good. He started as a striker in his young days, but gradually understood that he was a destroyer. With the passage of time, his versatility was tested when he was assigned a defensive midfield role to minimize the beatings doled out to his teammates, stating Chelsea and Ghanaian legend Michael Essien was his role model because his presence was always felt anytime he graced the pitch.

Now at 24, Roy Boateng plays as a centre-back for USL side New York Red Bulls II. He is a clever player. He tries to do better and has done better. He is a warrior; his stamina is exceptional, he’s very strong physically, good in the air and quick on the ground, and able to run at least a kilometer at full speed in every match. 

The Ghanaian is very durable and not afraid of pain; he even played with a broken nose and head last season. New York Red Bulls II fans love his never-say-die attitude, and he has the potential to develop into a true leader.  “I am really having a wonderful time here. They’ve given me the opportunity to bring my proclivity to bear. My one year stay with them has really benefitted my development as a player as I have learnt a lot and hopes to learn more as I progress.” He chimed

Boateng’s resolve is matched by his acute sensibility in defensive situations. His awareness of when to close down and strip the ball from opponents is impressive.  On the ball, he’s comfortable with both feet, equally capable of a fast-paced delivery into his centre-forward or playing a diagonal cross-field pass to a winger. His anticipation and reading of the game gives him an excellent interception rate, while his speed enables him to recover against the majority of forwards. Versatile and full of youthful verve, Boateng’s ascent shows no signs of slowing, with the 24-year-old having a lot to offer. There are even hushed talks of him playing for the USMNT in the not too distant future as the technical handlers of the men’s national team seem to be appreciative of his immense talent.Embed from Getty Images  Roy Boateng idolizes Spain and Real Madrid legend Sergio Ramos. Frankly, apart from wearing a tough resilient character, there is a spark of Sergio Ramos in the way he moves and what he can do with the ball. At no point in his short career has he shown any fear or doubt in his capabilities. However, to get anywhere near where the famous Spaniard’s level, he will have to work hard and continue his development. Creative and dynamic at the same time with good ball control, he possesses all the ingredients to become a complete and quality player. Having previously played for USL PDL side Portland Timbers and San Francisco Glens, Boateng looks mature, adding a greater sharp physical edge and leadership quality to his burgeoning quality.  “I think I’m mature now. I look fit and my knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the game and how to launch a subsequent assault response has increased.” He quipped. He has been linked with several European clubs and that might be the next logical move should he see his talent blossom but Boateng has a predilection for the MLS and is anxiously waiting for the opportunity to play for the New York Red Bulls in the next few months. “It’s (MLS) a great league, one where you can find a stuttering team upsetting the giants. The atmosphere for the games with all the fans travelling to support their teams is special,” and yes, I would love to play for the first team of New York Red Bulls. I would love to play at the highest level.”

Having witnessed most of the MLS games, Boateng is aware of the challenge ahead but the confident defender is optimistic of his success with the first team. “I am ready for the challenge ahead. I have the wherewithal to be successful here.”

He gushed Roy Boateng has been admirer of the Black Stars for a very long time and always harbored some hope of donning the colours of the land of his birth. “There is no bigger honor and dream in football than wearing the colors of your motherland and protecting ‘her’ image. It’s everything.” The hardworking player believes he has all the necessary qualities to be a member of the Black Stars and pray Charles Kwablan Akonnor grants him the rare opportunity to prove his mettle.  

“My status has changed now. Before I was an amateur,” explained Boateng, who wants to be in the good books of the new Black Stars gaffer.” I am more mature now and ready to represent Ghana at the highest level.”  Whereas the Bermuda triangle features prominently in geography as an area in the Atlantic between the region of Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico where flights and sailing vessels are vulnerable, his defensive dexterity, prowess and proclivities always as strategic as a bait has compelled people to label his region as Bermuda, implying how perilous he can be in stopping marksmen, bringing them down and depriving them of balls. 

IRoy Boateng’s character is a rare one in modern football. Driven by the desire to improve but not hindered by the fear of failure, he’s already good. Now, he has the chance to be outstanding and that alone should excite the American and Ghanaian football fraternity.

By @godfredbudu on twitter

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