Ten Best: Metro Africans
March 24, 2021
Last year, with MLS season stuck in limbo, we looked at the best Metro players from England, the rest of Europe, and South America. We never got to Africa... because, honestly, that is not as simple. There are a number of good players, but not too many stand out over the rest of the bunch. But what needs to be done will be done, so let's get to it!
10) Anatole Abang (Cameroon), 2015-16
The numbers seem good on the surface, especially for 2015: six goals in 569 minutes, scoring in three different competitions. But beneath the surface not all seems right with Abang, who, since leaving Metro has embarked on a vagabond career: Denmark, Finland, Romania, China, Moldova, Azerbaijan...
9) Gideon Baah (Ghana), 2016-17
On one hand, he played just 10 total games for Metro before an injury ruined his career. On the other, he was pretty damn good in those games, and scored in a 7:0 massacre over the blue poseurs. Seriously, picking ten for this list is not easy.
8) Shaun Bartlett (South Africa), 1997
28 goals for his country, second most all-time. Two goals in the World Cup. 36 goals in the English Premier League. For Metro: in 16 games, four goals, and two of those coming in the Open Cup over a minor league team. Oh well.
7) Mehdi Ballouchy (Morocco), 2010-12
Yes, Ballouchy. Yes, really! 59 games, four goals, seven assists might sound pedestrian... OK, we painted ourselves into a corner here. Did we say 59 games? Always Hans Backe's favorite pet project... Yes, Ballouchy! Let's just move on.
6) Danleigh Borman (South Africa), 2008-11
Not much was expected for the winger/left back taken in the usually-pointless Supplemental Draft, but four goals in 67 games is not too shabby. Plus, Titi Henry bought him a Porsche.
5) Amro Tarek (Egypt), 2019-
On a good day, an excellent center back. On a bad day, you can understand why Orlando gave him to Metro for a 4th round draft pick. Has clearly outperformed all expectations already, so there is that.
4) Ibrahim Sekagya (Uganda), 2013-14
On one hand, the scored the goal-ahead goal in the first Shield-clinching game. On the other hand... let's not try to remember what he did in those playoffs. On most days, a solid, steady defender. Just not in those playoffs!
3) Ambroise Oyongo (Cameroon), 2014
Before a guy named Kemar, you could make a case that Oyongo's lone season with Metro made him the best left back in team history... just watch the playoff assist to BWP! But his biggest contribution was being part of the trade that yielded Sacha Kljestan and Felipe Martins.
2) Peguy Luyindula (DR Congo
This might feel a bit like cheating, since Peguy is a French international and even made our Top Ten Europeans list, but come on! He was born in what was then Zaire, so of course he belongs on this list!
1) Lloyd Sam (
England Ghana), 2012-16
Now this is cheating. Sam, English born and raised, is a Ghanaian, as long as international soccer is concerned, because of one substitute appearance for the country of his parents at the age of 31. So he is #1 here... and it's not even close.