Steve Carrillo

Emmanuel Boateng, an Unsung Hero?

Editor’s Note: Davis Rothman (age 14) the author of this article, returns to tell us about Emmanuel Boateng and why he’s so important to the LA Galaxy. If you haven’t read Davis’ original article where he talks about Robbie Keane, then you might be missing out on what an extraordinary young talent he is. Keep up the good work, Davis! – J. Guesman

This player may be small, but shouldn’t underestimate his size, because he has done things some people may not recognize him as. When signed this year on January 14, 2016, he has proven himself to be a great player. He’s not the biggest player or the “hot-shot” of the team but has shown himself somehow to become one of LA Galaxy’s unsung heroes. That player is no other than Emmanuel Boateng.

Our fastest player on LA Galaxy was born in Accra, Ghana. As a kid, Boateng joined an African developmental program, the Right to Dream Academy.  Because of the talents he showed, he soon went on to earn a scholarship to a Californian boarding school called Cate School – located in Carpinteria, California, a town close to Santa Barbara. While Boateng was at the school, he featured for local club teams that were in his area such as Santa Barbara Soccer Club and South Coast Strikers.

He played for his school as well. In 2011, he was named MVP of the prestigious Milk Cup, an international youth soccer tournament, which featured the world’s brightest young talents. He soon won many more honors such as 2012 Gatorade Soccer Player of the year, given to the top high-school player in the United States and was named CIF Southern Division 7 Player of the Year in both 2011 and 2012 as he won the division in both years as well. But when he won the Gatorade Soccer Player of the year award, Landon Donovan wrote him a note saying that one day in his career, he hoped that he’d play with him sometime.

At his final season at the Cate School, Boateng scored thirty-two goals and bagged nineteen assists. Boateng was also a dual sports star because he also ran track — and featured his speed by reaching the finals of the 100 and 200-meter dash. Then he skipped his senior year at Cate and moved on to the University of Santa Barbara, where he made an immediate impact by scoring four goals in his first season.

That same year, he earned the honor of being called Big West’s  Freshman of the Year. After playing for Ventura County Fusion in the summer of 2013, he ignored a shocking interest from Manchester City and signed with Helsingborgs IF of Allsvenskan, which is Sweden’s top-flight professional football league. He made a total of thirty-seven appearances and scored four goals since 2013. Then in the January of 2016, he opted to move back to California and signed with the LA Galaxy on January 14, 2016. Since then, he has scored two goals for the five-time-MLS-Cup-Champions.

Photo by Steve Carrillo. LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps, 8.27.2016
Photo by Steve Carrillo. LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps, 8.27.2016

But the question we all want to know is what makes Emmanuel Boateng our unsung hero? There are four reasons why:

1.   His agility. He’s an extremely fast and dynamic player. So that makes him super effective, especially on counter attacks. Regardless of which way the counter is going, he is extremely useful. If the counter attack is going forward and LA Galaxy are on the counter, the only result you will see is something similar to the first goal Giovani Dos Santos scored against Orlando City to level the match. Brian Rowe rolled it out to Boateng, using his ability, he burned two defenders and played in a cross on the ground, which Gio ran onto and scored.

2.   Another shocking reason that contributes to his greatness is what makes him so fast, his size. His size and body shape makes him able to be able to take guys on and always calm and agile on the field. In the future, I can probably guarantee that there are going to be players that don’t notice Boateng one-bit due to his size, and by the end, they will be watching as his size only proves as a strength to him.

3.   The last and final reason what makes him our unsung hero is his ability to play many positions. In high school and college, he featured as all attacking midfielders and as a striker. That is the reason why he scored so many goals because he is also unpredictable. You never know what he can do. After college, he opted to play semi-pro and then received interest from Manchester City, one of the best clubs in the world today. But, his signing for Swedish side Helsingborgs gave him the gift of more playtime. Even though he didn’t score many goals during his three years there, he proved his pace, agility, skills, ability to play different positions, but mostly his potential to show that he is a bright young talent that could very well emerge to be an exceptional player and someone with excellent skills.

4.   In addition to the three reasons, he is also someone who adds depth. If he’s coming off the bench and when you have other players playing on the outside such as someone maybe like Raul Mendiola, or maybe even if you are going back to a 4-4-2, maybe even a Gyasi Zardes or a Giovani Dos Santos that gets put out wide, he is extremely complementary to them. But he is most effective when you play a 4-2-3-1. It is because the formation matches his game.

For what we have seen of Emmanuel Boateng, he is a bright young prospect, and which many think he could be a great player in the long run. If you give him more playtime, starts, and increasingly more chances, he will prove a deadly attacker and someone that defenders would want to watch out for. That is why Emmanuel Boateng, the LA Galaxy’s unsung hero, is so incredibly great!