Carteron Taps Africa Connection Again, Brings in Awako

Gladson Awako in an unaccredited photo from his prior club, Tout Puissant Mazembe.
Gladson Awako in an uncredited photo from his prior club, Tout Puissant Mazembe.

The Firebird Rising staff has made a habit of checking the USLSoccer.com roster for Phoenix Rising on a regular basis.  This week’s roster includes a new name, Gladson Awako.

Awako, a native of Ghana, comes to Rising FC after winning two continental titles with TP Mazembe, a top team in the Democratic Republic of Congo.  His coach there, until recently, was none other than current Phoenix Rising manager Patrice Carteron.

The 26-year-old midfielder stands 5 feet 5 inches tall*, which will create quite the brotherhood in the midfield with Alessandro Riggi and Shaun Wright-Phillips, all of whom are under five and a half feet tall.

Awako has minimal International experience, but did have four appearances in the 2009 U-20 World Cup for Ghana, though only found himself in the starting eleven in the Round of 16.  Ghana did reach the final, only losing to Brazil.

TP Mazembe posted a fond farewell to Awako upon the expiration of his contract this month.  “His talent, professionalism and his undeniable technical qualities have made Gladson one of the noted midfielders during his five years in the Democratic Republic of Congo.”

Awako was rumored to be joining Asante Kotoko, 24 time Ghana Premier League Champion, as late as last week.  Their loss will be Rising FC’s gain.

*USLSoccer.com registers Awako at 5 feet 10 inches, though several other sources have his height at anywhere from 5’4″ to 5’6″