Attakora top Under-20 player for second year

By RON FANFAIR

Top young soccer prospect Nana Attakora has been voted Canada’s best Under-20 player for the second straight year.

He captured 36.5 per cent of the votes of the national team coaches and the Canadian coaches who have taken the Canadian Soccer Association’s national course at the “A” and “B” levels.

The former national Under-20 defender’s playing time with Toronto FC in Major League Soccer (MLS) increased significantly this season from 318 minutes in 2009 to 1652 minutes this season.

Attakora started in 19 of the 20 games he appeared in and registered two goals and four assists. He was named Man-of-the-Match in the September 12 contest against Colorado Rapids which Toronto FC won 3-2 – he scored one of the goals which was his first in the MLS – and the October 10 match against San Jose Earthquakes that ended in a 1-1 draw. The defender was also named Toronto FC’s Player of the Month in June and August.

Born in North York to Ghanaian parents, Attakora played collegiate soccer at York University and was invited to English Premier League club Everton for a training camp two years ago. He turned out in five MLS Reserve Division games in his debut season that was cut short by a groin injury that prevented him from making his first team debut until August 9, 2008.

Attakora has also represented Canada at the Under-16, Under-17, Under-19 and Under-23 levels.

Toronto FC, meanwhile, has sold out its season seats for the 2010 MLS season. The team has capped season sales at 16,000 for the third straight season. The team has also announced that 95 per cent of those season seats came in the form of renewals.

“As we head into our fourth season, we continue to be amazed at the support of our fans,” said senior director of business operations, Paul Beirne. “It’s early, but there’s already a lot of excitement building for 2010 and we always enjoy welcoming new fans to BMO Field.

The soccer club will open the 2010 MLS season on Saturday, March 27 against the Columbus Crew in Ohio.

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