Now there’s something you don’t see every day.
The Harrisburg City Islanders don’t usually have to worry about losing players to international duty. The last time an active City Islander received a national team call up during the season was... well I’m not sure, actually. Quite a while, that’s for sure. So it was a nice surprise to hear that defender Abass Mohammed had been called up to represent Ghana as they prepare for their next World Cup qualifier on October 7th against Uganda.
Mohammed had been a big part of the Harrisburg defense earlier in the season. He made nineteen appearances for the City Islanders in 2017, almost always lining up as the left back. He didn’t register any goals or assists, but he showed impressive ball control skills as well as an excellent ability to connect on long passes across the field. Unfortunately, Harrisburg’s recent formation change to a three man back line had left him as something of an odd man out along with Jaime Thomas.
The World Cup qualifier happens to fall on the same date as Harrisburg’s final match of the season against the Charleston Battery, so it’s unlikely that Mohammed will return even if he doesn’t make the final squad. If he does make the final 23, then there’s a chance that he’ll get capped in the Ghanaian defense along with MLS players like Harrison Afful and Jonathan Mensah. He may also get to play with Daniel Opare, currently playing with Augsburg in the Bundesliga, who’s making his first appearance with the Black Stars since the 2014 World Cup.
Just a quick recap of Ghana’s current qualification situation. The Black Stars are in Group E in the CAF along with Uganda, Egypt, and Republic of the Congo. They currently sit in third place behind Egypt and Uganda, with Congo already eliminated from qualification. Ghana desperately needs the win over Uganda to keep pace with Egypt, and they also need Egypt to drop points against the Congo in order to keep their hopes alive. If Ghana would lose their next qualifier, it would mean that they would miss the World Cup for the first time since 2002.
Best of luck Abass Mohammed!