A Golden Boot and MVP season in the United Soccer League has earned Sean Okoli a return to MLS, with New York City FC making the 23-year-old striker and former US youth international their first signing of the winter transfer window.
Okoli scored 16 goals in 29 matches for FC Cincinnati in 2016, adding All-League honors to his scoring title and MVP selection.
“The beautiful game can take you to some great places and I feel so blessed to be here," Okoli said in a release issued by the club. "I know the team plays attacking football and I love that, so I’m looking forward to being a part of it. It means a lot to play under Patrick Vieira. He’s been everywhere I want to be as a player and I know he has a lot to offer, so I’m excited to get working with him as I just want to continue to grow.
Okoli, who has call-ups from the US at the under-17 and under-20 levels, will get to learn from – and compete in training against – one of the game's greats: striker David Villa, who scored 23 goals this past last season for NYCFC.
“I know David Villa is a very special player who has scored big goals for big clubs," Okoli said, "so I just want to help continue this club’s success and score goals with him and with the rest of the team. It's a big club and we want to win here so it’s not going to be easy to just come here and continue to grow – I know I need to put the work in.
“I like to work really hard on the field and to score goals and hopefully I can do that in an entertaining way here in New York.”