Getting to Know The Timbers: Kalif Alhassan

With a lot of the roster becoming finalized we here at Stumptown Footy wanted to take a closer look at the players the Portland Timbers have signed. For every player we can we will be looking at their previous teams, strengths, weaknesses and give a short analysis of what to expect for the coming year. First up is Kalif Alhassan.

Kalif Alhassan (M)


Previous team(s):

  • 2007-2010 Liberty Professionals (Ghana)
  • 2010 USL Portland Timbers

Strengths:
For a young player, Kalif Alhassan has shown amazing vision and ingenuity on the pitch. He has great technical skills with the ball at his feet and can beat players one-on-one. His speed also makes him a threat when playing wide or as a recessed forward. Has experience in the international game, with calls up to the Ghanaian national system (U-17 and U-20).

Weaknesses:
Alhassan sometimes takes plays off or tries cheeky stuff, showboating by trying to chip the keeper or making heel passes. He could be taken off of the ball with physical play last season in the USL, and he has yet to experience Major League Soccer and its physical play. He's only 20 years old, so growing pains are to be expected.

Analysis:
Alhassan was a great addition for the USL Portland Timbers and was signed with the intention of giving him a look for the MLS side. His upside was his greatest asset when signed with four others from the USL side. His ability and willingness to take players on will bring the focus of other defenders, in turn allowing teammates to get open. The physicality of the game in the MLS may present a difficult obstacle to overcome. He is a great addition to the team; however, a consistent starting role will probably not be in the cards, unless he can consistently show he can handle the physicality of the MLS. He will most likely be used as a super substitute, to give the Timbers energy off of the bench. 

Highlights: Check out his game winning goal against Puerto Rico here:

Miscellaneous: Alhassan was Gavin Wilkinson's first signing with the intent of seeing if he could play for the MLS squad.    

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