24 Under 24: #17 Gershon Koffie, Vancouver Whitecaps

17. Gershon Koffie

Pos: M | Vancouver Whitecaps | Age: 22

Massive potential. A charismatic leader. Those are the two attributes that consistently come up when talking about the Ghanian midfielder. But those don’t always find their way onto the field day in and day out, and that has cost Koffie a slide down this list after he debuted at No. 12 last season. He has fallen out of favor of head coach Martin Rennie at times this season after inconsistent form. Still, the 22-year-old has already set a career high with three assists and tied his career high with three goals this season. Could an international future with Canada be in the offing?

What TDs and coaches like: "I like Gershon a lot. He has improved each of the years that he has been in this league. ... Technically, very good. Covers a lot of ground in his position. Tough in the tackle, composed on the ball, can spray it around the field. ... He’s a guy who’s also proved this year that he can work box-to-box when asked to and get goals for you. For his position, he’s one of the better younger players at his position in the league, and another young man that has a bright future. ... They've played different systems up there, trying to get their best XI on the field. I don't think it's always clear, like a lot of teams. But I think they always go back to him because I think they realize with his talent they've got to get him on the field. ... He can strike a ball from distance, he can get a good goal from distance, he's good technically in tight spaces, he's strong in the tackle, he's strong in riding players off the ball."

Where TDs and coaches want improvement: "He's not a bad player at all. Any player can improve on their footwork and technique. As he gains a bit more experience and as his feet get better and he becomes more confident, I think he could be very good. ... The passing range and making sure he completes as many passes as he can. We like to think of that little area where he plays as the forbidden zone. You don't want to lose the ball too often in there. Sometimes he does get a little bit lax in his square passes, a little bit nonchalant. ... He likes to play things in into feet, which is great, but the next step is to be able to knock that 60-yard ball into the channel with one step. ... He's got some good guys to rub off on him, so it's just being on the ball more, being more comfortable with the ball. Martin Rennie is good with young players from what I've seen. I think he's in a good environment to get that with experience."

Opta Says: Kelyn Rowe is the only player eligible for 24 Under 24 with more goals from outside the box (4) than Gershon Koffie (2) during the 2013 season.
 

Tale of the Tape
Last Year in 24U24: #12
Castrol Index (as of 9/17/13): #152

2013 Stats
Matches played: 22
Matches started: 18
Goals: 3
Assists: 3

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