New York City FC have completed the signing of Sean Okoli from FC Cincinnati.
Okoli enjoyed a remarkable 2016 in Ohio where he was named United Soccer League MVP, made the All-League Team and won the Golden Boot for his 16 goals in 29 games.
The 23-year old striker, who has been called up to the USMNT squads at u18 and u20 level, becomes NYCFC’s first acquisition of the winter transfer window.
Okoli told NYCFC.com: “The beautiful game can take you to some great places and I feel so blessed to be here. I know the team plays attacking football and I love that, so I’m looking forward to being a part of it.
“It means a lot to play under Patrick Vieira – he’s been everywhere I want to be as a player and I know he has a lot of offer, so I’m excited to get working with him as I just want to continue to grow.
“I know David Villa is a very special player who has scored big goals for big clubs so I just want to help continue this club’s success and score goals with him and with the rest of the team.
“It's a big club and we want to win here so it’s not going to be easy to just come here and continue to grow – I know I need to put the work in.
“I like to work really hard on the field and to score goals and hopefully I can do that in an entertaining way here in New York.”
Sean Okoli: Beyond the Pitch
NYCFC Head Coach Vieira is delighted to have added Okoli to the NYCFC roster.
Vieira said: “I’m really happy to welcome Sean to this club as he is a talented striker who we believe has an exciting future in the game.
“Having had the opportunity to speak to him, he also is the kind of person we want at this club and I’m sure he is going to work hard to build on the excellent 2016 he enjoyed at Cincinnati.
“To win the Golden Boot and to be named as MVP in USL at his age are great achievements and so I’m looking forward to working with him in pre-season and throughout next year.”
Sporting Director Claudio Reyna added: “Sean has enjoyed an excellent year in USL with FC Cincinnati and we’re pleased he’s agreed to join NYCFC for the next chapter of his developing career.
“He’s someone who has been on our radar and he will give us options in the attacking third going into next season.
“It’s important for us to identify and recruit young American talent and we believe Sean is certainly a player with a promising future in the game.”
Born in Federal Way, Washington, Okoli was part of the Seattle Sounders youth setup earlier on in his youth career before he played college soccer at Wake Forest University between 2011 and 2013.
The tall, pacey 23-year old made his professional debut for Sounders, where he was on a Homegrown Player contract, on March 8, 2014 and went on to make four appearances in all competitions.
In 2015, Revolution took Sean to New England in the MLS SuperDraft and he made five appearances in his year there, before he joined USL side FC Cincinnati on February 24, 2016.
His 16 goals helped to fire his team to a third place finish in USL last year, earning him the league’s MVP award.