After spending some time with the Ghana national team in preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations, New York City FC midfielder Ebenezer Ofori has returned to the club ahead of their June 29 match against the Eastern Conference leading Philadelphia Union.
Ofori — who is in his second year of a two-year loan from VfB Stuttgart — was selected to the Black Stars’ provisional 29-man roster for the AFCON, but has rejoined his club before Ghana is to play their first knockout stage match.
The midfielder’s return is sure to throw a spanner in the works as it pertains to City’s personnel selection. Since the opening round of the U.S. Open Cup, NYCFC have seemingly reverted to their more usual 4-3-3 lineup with Maxi Moralez in his usual No. 10 spot, Alexander Ring serving as the destroyer, and Keaton Parks filling the gap as a No. 8. Parks — who is also on a loan until season’s end — has really become an emerging star in Ofori’s absence, with the American putting in great performances in NYCFC’s 4-0 win against North Carolina FC and the 2-1 victory over D.C. United, both of which came in USOC play.
Factor in the fact that James Sands is due back at any time, and you have a recipe for a complicated puzzle that Domé Torrent is sure to have a hard time piecing together.
But, for now, let’s just take comfort in knowing that the club is getting closer to full strength with each passing day.