ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (June 26, 2018) — The Tampa Bay Rowdies have signed midfielder Kwadwo Poku, the club announced Tuesday. The signing is pending receipt of his ITC clearance and league and federation approval. He will eligible to play once the transfer window opens on July 10.
Poku, 26, most recently played for FC Anzhi Makhachkala in the Russian Premier League, but is well known in the American soccer scene for his time with New York City FC in MLS in 2015 and 2016 and then Miami FC in the NASL in 2016 and 2017.
"We are so excited to have Poku join the Tampa Bay Rowdies," said Rowdies Chairman & CEO Bill Edwards. "He brings a level of excitement on the field that will be very important for this team as we enter the second half of the season and chase down the USL Cup in 2018. Poku is a player that has succeeded at many levels of professional soccer and I have no doubt he'll do the same under Head Coach Neill Collins."
A physical force, Poku scored seven goals in 36 appearances for NYCFC, and was named to the MLS "24 under 24" after his stellar 2015 season.
“Marcel Schäfer will be difficult to replace, but Poku is an unbelievable person to bring in and a huge coup for the club,” Rowdies Head Coach Neill Collins said. “For us to sign him at the age he is is really big. I’ve played against him and he was a very tough opponent. He’s a player the fans will love and he brings us something we’ve lacked in terms of strength, presence and goals from midfield."
In South Florida, he scored 15 goals in 55 matches, while also guiding Miami FC to both the 2017 Spring and Fall Season Championships. Poku was also fundamental in Miami's long Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup run in 2017, where they reached the quarterfinals.
Born in Kumasi, Ghana, Poku has played in three matches for Ghana’s senior national team, with his first one coming in 2015.
He will wear the No. 88 jersey for the Rowdies. He is the third new addition to the Rowdies in the last week, joining Afrim Taku and Dominic Oduro as the newest players on the roster.