Union Add Kenyan Midfielder, who Honestly Looks Pretty Nasty

from YouTube

After a few weeks of Twitter rumors, the Philadelphia Union officially added Kenyan midfielder Richard Odada on Tuesday:

21 years old, a d-mid with five caps for the Kenyan national team who already has about 50 European club games under his belt.

Ernst Tanner noted this in the press release:

“Richard is a holding midfielder with positional versatility and a great potential to be a valuable contributor as we continue to develop our roster,” said Philadelphia Union Sporting Director, Ernst Tanner. “He can play multiple midfield roles as well as center back, and he has the height, speed and physicality we were searching for. We look forward to integrating him this year and encouraging his development for the future.”

They’ve got him listed at 6’3″, 180 pounds, which is pretty big for a defensive midfielder. Brujo Martinez is 5’10”, 159 and Brian Carroll was a similar build. I can’t recall the Union having one of those tall and smooth d-mids, unless you want to count the games that Derrick Jones and Warren Creavalle played as eights or sixes in the 4-2-3-1 of yesteryear, but make no mistake – Africa produces some absolutely fantastic holding midfielders. Think Yaya Toure, Victor Wanyama, Seydou Keita, Wilfred Ndidi, etc. You get this amazing blend of languid motion and effortless ball winning with insane ground coverage at the same time, and you see it in Odada’s film:

Looks like a very “rangy” type of guy who hits a beautiful long diagonal. He’s got a bit of Vince Nogueira in him, but he’s got the body type of a Tony Tchani, which is very cool. This guy looks nasty based on limited film against likely subpar competition, but I’m still excited. Nothing gets me excited like a good tackle and a long diagonal.

(I think it’s also safe to assume that Jose Martinez is off to Europe sooner rather than later)