24 Under 24: #12 Gershon Koffie, Vancouver Whitecaps
12. Gershon Koffie
Pos: M | Vancouver Whitecaps | Age: 21
The Ghanaian doesn’t usually get much press and when he does the media typically focuses on the rash card or a tough tackle. But Koffie brings plenty of quality as a two-way midfielder in MLS that doesn’t always grab headlines. In fact, the 2012 season has shown how the Whitecaps miss him when he’s not in the lineup. His dogged defending in midfield and his ability to jumpstart the attack with a positive touch are what stand out. If he can have an even greater influence on the attack coupled with a decrease in disciplinary instances -- he has seven yellows this year -- we could soon be looking at a more athletic version of Juninho.
What the TDs and coaches like: “As a central midfielder in a holding role, he breaks and drops in fantastically well in front of the back four … He’s not just a destroyer, he can get it down and give it … He’s comfortable with the ball … He plays his game very simple which I think is a big plus on his part, he doesn’t overcomplicate his game … He’s a prototypical holding midfielder, a guy who can link the defense with the attack … He’s improved in the area in his vision on the field … His range of passing has improved this year … His ability to break plays up is always good … You can certainly see a player that has grown in confidence and that has helped him solidify a spot in the lineup … He’s athletic with good physical size and he’s strong … He’s got great concentration, very good at reading plays and breaking them up … He makes good decisions, has a good sense about him, the way he moves around the field … He is emerging as a true legitimate two-way midfielder … He could be a perennial All-Star if he continues to develop.”
Where TDs and coaches want improvement: “Needs to work on the mental part of the game … For him, he’s going to physically continue to mature, so that will enable him to get a little bit more range in his game … Needs to work on his tactical awareness, even for such a young player who’s done a good job. He’s getting there.”
Opta Says: Of players under 24 with more than five dribbles attempted in MLS 2012, Gershon Koffie has the highest success rate (18-28 or 64.3 percent).
|Tale of the Tape|
|Last Year in 24U24: NR|
|Fan Ranking: #35|
|Castrol Index (as of 9/12/12): #166|
|Matches played: 23|
|Matches started: 22|
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