CARSON, Calif. – During the preseason, Chivas USA have been all about acquiring defense. The latest addition – Ghanaian international Seth Owusu – is eager to earn his spot.
“I decided to come to Chivas USA because I feel that I can enhance my career here because this is a stepping stone for me,” Owusu told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “I believe that [head coach Robin Fraser] will be able to build me up into a good player.”
A natural left-side fullback, Owusu has also spent time at central defender while playing in Ghana and it is likely that he will see time at both positions for the Rojiblancos. A loan deal for the 22-year-old, believed to last until December, is expected to be finalized shortly from Ghanaian club Medeama SC.
In his short time with the team, Owusu has been quick to get to know many of his teammates as he prepares to adjust to his new league. Fraser admitted that he has not seen much of the burly defender, but feels that he has added a good presence to camp.
“He is still getting adjusted,” said Fraser. “He’s a smart guy, he’s pretty quiet. He’s pretty intense. He’s here with a great attitude, he listens and he works hard.”
One player who has been eager to help along the young Ghanaian has been fellow defender Jimmy Conrad. The veteran has taken an immediate interest in Owusu in helping his acclimation process to the league. Conrad played in the US’ 2-1 loss to Owusu’s Ghanaian countrymen in the 2006 World Cup.
Conrad admits he doesn't know much about Owusu, but true to the veteran’s colorful style, refers to him as a “man mountain.” Although Owusu says Conrad had words for him about the rivalry, the wily veteran was eager to deny any potential spite on the field.
“Now we’re on the same team, so hopefully, it’s a friendly thing,” Conrad said of a US-Ghana rivalry which now dates back to two World Cups.
While Conrad’s page in US national team history has been written, Owusu hopes that his time in MLS can further his own career with the Black Stars. Owusu is still searching for his cap after making an appearance in camp with Ghana for a Cup of Nations qualifier against Sudan.
Owusu understands that he may have a target on his back, but through it all Owusu hopes that he can heal some World Cup wounds if even just a little.
“When I found out that I was coming to America, I was very happy,” said a smiling Owusu. “America and Ghana have a cordial relationship, so coming here will boost my morale and I will be able to help build the relationship between the Ghana and the US.
"But I know they will be looking to me [with spite],” he joked.
Adam Serrano covers Chivas USA for MLSsoccer.com. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @adamserrano