April 18, 2011
SPSU Soccer Alum and NAIA All-American, Mamadou "Futty" Danso starts for his National Team and for Major League Soccer (MLS) expansion team, Portland Timbers
It has been a busy month, so far, for Futty! He has traveled to Africa and started for his Senior National Team in an International Friendly against Equatorial Guinea. It was his first start for the Gambian Senior National Team and well worth the extensive travel such a trip demands. Other trips have seen him spending the entire time on the bench. This time, he started. The match was played in the capital city of Malabo, off the central coast of Africa. Game time temperatures reached around 105 degrees and the visiting Scorpions (Gambian National Soccer Team nickname) lost 1-0. However, it was valuable experience for Danso who said he thought he played pretty well.
Later on in the month, Danso started for the MLS expansion team, Portland Timbers. It was the franchise's Home Opener and was also nationally televised on ESPN2. The Timbers took a comfortable 3-0 lead against the visiting Chicago Fire, who later scored twice to make the final moments very interesting. The final Timbers corner kick saw Danso in front of the Fire goal surrounded by friends and foe, alike. Frantically trying to get the ball first, Danso made contact with the ball that hit a Fire defender. The ball went in, but the goal was ruled as an own-goal. Danso celebrated as if he was credited with the goal!
"I was very excited to see him in the mix in that final goal," said Hornet Head Coach, Kom Momeni. "I know that Futty can be a handful on set-pieces and hopefully, he will get the opportunity to score a couple of goals this year."
It's not often when you can help a new team win its home opener, but Danso has done it twice. Once for Southern Poly in 2007, when they won their Inaugural match 3-1, and now for the Portland Timbers.