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Orange County Blues 2016 Player Postmortem: Akwafei Ajeakwa

Striker was a workhorse in lone season with club.

Courtesy of USL

Akwafei Ajeakwa was an unknown in USL when he signed for the Orange County Blues ahead of the 2016 season. That’s not surprising, since he had been playing deep in the English pyramid, and the local product came back home.

On the field, he was nearly ever-present, making the second-most appearances on the team among the forwards behind Trevin Caesar, and basically locking down the second striker position for the whole season.

On the plus side, his workrate was impressive and commitment to defending from the front meant that Ajeakwa was always giving full effort. His speed harried opposing defenders, he helped open up space, and he put in a good two-way shift every match.

Ajeakwa 2016 OC Blues statistics

2016 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
2016 Games Played Games Started Minutes Goals Assists Shots SOG Yellow Cards Red Cards
USL Regular Season 24 11 1,143 1 2 13 4 1 3
USL Playoffs 2 2 205 0 0 3 0 0 0
U.S. Open Cup*
Total 26 1,348 1 2 16 4 1 3

The downside was that Ajeakwa’s stat line was pretty out of whack for the season. He led USL with three red cards on the season, and to be fair he generally seemed to suffer from marginal or poor calls when it came to getting ejected. Still, while it’s probably a one-season blip, leading a large league in red cards is going to raise some eyebrows, fair or not.

The other issues for Ajeakwa’s stat line is that his actual offensive production was minimal. One goal and two assists in 26 games is not very good, and while the season was ongoing it always seemed like his breakout was right around the corner, that breakout never actually came.

Ajeakwa has moved onto Orange County’s Western Conference rivals San Antonio FC for the 2017 season. I do think he’s the kind of player who always works hard and provides enough promise to warrant giving him another look. He’s 24, so there’s room for growth in his game, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this season he notched somewhere around seven goals. I think it’s possible his production could be similar to how it was for the Blues in 2016, too, but he does seem like the kind of player who certainly deserves another season in USL to show if he can make a big jump. And time will tell if he’s the kind of player who has a knack for scoring against his former team.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!