fanendo adi

MLS: Portland Timbers has a bully in Fanendo Adi

Portland Timbers are doing well for themselves in the Major League Soccer (MLS) this term. The team from Portland, Oregon has raced to an early lead in the recently started MLS campaign after two back to back victories, one of which includes a rare away victory against the mighty LA Galaxy – their first away win since 2015.

The early successes of Portland Timbers can be traced to the heroics of one man – Fanendo Adi. The Nigerian has been in a sensational early season form for Timbers and has helped propel the Oregon-based soccer team to the summit of the MLS.

Unlike what some of us are used to in Europe’s top 5 leagues, the MLS season usually starts in March every year. This year, it kicked off on 3rd March 2017. Portland Timbers welcomed Minnesota United to the Providence Park in the opening fixture of the Major League Soccer for the year. That game ended in a staggering 5-1 victory in favor of Timbers.

One man who shone like a million stars in that encounter is the aforementioned, Fanendo Adi. Just when Minnesota United was preparing to lick their wounds on a 3-1 defeat, Fanendo Adi sprung up to score 2 superb goals after the 90th minute to condemn the team from Minneapolis to a heavy defeat on the road.

Who is Fanendo Adi?

Fanendo Adi is a Nigerian, born in Lagos, but it was in a remote village in Benue State Nigeria where Adi would grow up and be spotted by a soccer agent whilst playing soccer on the streets of Benue. The agent then took him to Lagos, where he was selected ahead of 400 other players to join a Brazilian soccer academy in Lagos.

Fanendo Adi soon left the academy for Europe where he would be given a contract at AS Trencin – a Slovakian second division outfit. AS Trencin were ready to offer young Fanendo Adi a professional contract after a 30 minutes trial with the Trencin team.

Trencin later sent out Fanendo Adi on loan spells to clubs such as Metalurh Donetsk, Dynamo Kyiv and Tavriya Simferopol. In 2012, Adi returned to Trencin and played with them for a year. However, his burgeoning personality paved way for a move to Copenhagen in 2013. Unfortunately for Adi, a few days after arriving in Denmark, the manager who signed him for Copenhagen was fired and Fanendo Adi was faced with a new manager who didn’t really rate him.

A period of lack of game time followed for the Nigerian, who immediately began looking for a lifeline. That lifeline was presented by MLS side, Portland Timbers, who offered to sign the Nigerian on loan. On signing for Timbers, Adi blossomed. In his first six games, he scored four times and provided two assists for Timbers. This prompted the team to sign him as a designated player – a player who is allowed to be paid above the MLS salary cap (only 3 of such players are allowed in a team).

Fanendo Adi has been a goal machine since joining Portland Timbers. In his first year (2014) with the team, he banged in 18 goals in 23 games. In 2015 he scored 33 goals in 33 games for the Timbers and scored an incredible 30 goals in 33 games last year. This year, Adi has hit the ground running and already has two goals from as many matches following that brace against Minnesota United. Adi has now registered 12 braces since joining MLS in 2014.

Measuring a towering 6-foot-4, Fanendo Adi is a big and huge striker who is fleet-footed and can shake off defenders with ease. Portland Timbers manager, Caleb Porter, describes Adi as a player who he wouldn’t trade with anyone in the league. He is quoted by OregonLive as saying:

"He had become a complete player, not many guys have the physical tools that he has in terms of size and mobility. Usually, you get a guy that has his size and they're not very mobile. He has a rare combination of size and speed. I wouldn't trade him for anyone in the league."

With Fanendo Adi, Portland Timbers have a big, fast striker who has proven he can really do damage to any opposition on his day.

Do you think Fanendo Adi can help Portland Timbers win the MLS this year, or at least the Supporters Shield?

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

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