The 2022 MLS draft has come and gone, and this draft, like previous drafts, helped college soccer players achieve their dream of playing soccer professionally.
Over three rounds, the following are the players of African origin, that were drafted in the 2022 MLS Draft.
Ousseni Bouda: The first player of African descent to be taken off the board, with the 8th pick by the San Jose Earthquakes. This is not a surprise for an athlete that finished his high school and college career, as the highest goalscorer overall with 156 goals and the PAC-12 Freshman of the year award respectively. He can play anywhere upfront, shoot with both legs and this amongst other things, was why he was selected this high. For more on Ousseni, read our article on him here.
Mama we made it. @Ousseni_bouda calling his mom back home in Burkina Faso after getting drafted is giving us all the feels.
— San Jose Earthquakes (@SJEarthquakes) January 12, 2022
Jojea Kwizera: Kwizera was selected 15th overall by the CF Montreal and the Democratic Republic of Congo native was described as a hard-hitting player, who has good speed. Kwizera’s journey to the MLS is one that was filled with so many hurdles, as he had to hone his football skills in a refugee camp in Tanzania, due to the civil unrest in Congo, that happened to separate him and his sister from their parents. He was able to relocate to the USA and moved from one foster to another, until he could find a foster family that allowed him to breathe and sleep soccer. He finished his college career with 10 assists and 4 goals, in 22 games.
With the No. 15 overall pick in the 2022 MLS SuperDraft, CF Montréal selects Jojea Kwizera pic.twitter.com/PYDU5q5wFM
— TSN (@TSN_Sports) January 11, 2022
Tani Oluwaseyi: Even though he represents Canada at the country level, Tani was born in Abuja, Nigeria. He was selected 17th overall by the Minnesota United FC, and he is a potent goal scorer, who scored 20 goals in 49 games played, throughout his college career. He will be looking to add more firepower to the Minnesota United’s offense.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) January 11, 2022
Farai Mutatu: The Zimbabwe-born player, was selected 21st overall by the Los Angeles Galaxy. He had to go through the journey of becoming a professional soccer player, without his parents by his side, as they had to leave him in the US, due to visa issues.
Farai Matatu's family surprises him all the way from Zimbabwe during MLS draft. 🖤
— AfroBallers (@afroballers) January 12, 2022
Farai finished his college career with 13 goals and 8 assists in 67 games, but it was his breakout year of 2021 that shot him into the limelight, as he finished that season with 7 goals and 3 assists in 17 matches.
Tzatziki Ntsabeleng: The former South Africa under-20 international was selected with the last pick of the first round by Dallas FC. Tzatziki played for Oregon State and earned All-Pac-12 First Team honors and finished his 2021 season with 7 goals in 13games.
🇿🇦 Tsiki Ntsabeleng joins MLS side, FC Dallas through the USA SuperDraft system. pic.twitter.com/9SZcHamfm8
— SA Football Players Abroad 🇿🇦 (@SaFootbalAbroad) January 12, 2022
Kingsford Adjei: A native of Accra in Ghana, Kingsford was selected 56th overall in the second round of the draft by the New York City FC. He is a product of the prestigious Right to Dream Academy in Ghana and he played College soccer for the University of Dayton, where he finished with 21 goals and 12 assists in 36 career starts.
Daniel Bloyou: Daniel was born in Accra, Ghana but grew up in Philadelphia in the US. He was selected 75th overall by Atlanta United. He began his College career at Old Dominion University and finished at Penn State University. He also attained the third team All-America status and was named First Team All-Big Ten.
DANIEL!!!!! Lighthouse’s own Danny Bloyou is headed to the show! pic.twitter.com/lxejwlzHr2
— Lighthouse Soccer (@LSC_Philly) January 12, 2022
El Mahdi Youssoufi: El Mahdi was born in Tangier, Morocco and was selected 84th overall by the New York Football Club. He played College soccer for the St. Francis Brooklyn Terriers, scoring 19 goals in 23 games, and was named to the United Soccer coaches All-Region First Team.
Mohammed VI Academy going worldwide 🇲🇦🇺🇸
Mehdi Youssoufi, formerly at AMF and Morocco U23, has been drafted by New York City FC in USA. He has been a key player for St Francis College in Brooklyn the last years and becomes the first Moroccan to be drafted in MLS. pic.twitter.com/0t8CCnqwwZ
— Maghrib Foot (@MaghribFoot) January 12, 2022
Tola Showunmi: Born in London, England to Nigerian parents, Tola was selected 88th overall by Atlanta United. He played College soccer for the Merrimack College Men’s soccer team, and received Northeast Conference First Team All-conference honors.
ICYMI: Tola Showunmi of @UNHMSoccer was selected by @ATLUTD in the 2022 @MLS #SuperDraft! He is the third player in program history to be drafted in the MLS SuperDraft along with Josh Bauer in 2021 and Chris Wingate in 2017. Story ➡ https://bit.ly/3ratqhu #BeTheRoar #UNHPros
Let's gooooo! 😤 pic.twitter.com/yCshuCbEZ4
— Atlanta United FC (@ATLUTD) January 12, 2022