With T2 opening their season on Sunday against Real Monarchs, we will be profiling the 14 players officially signed to the T2 roster.
Today we begin with forward Fatawu Safiu.
Born: July 16, 1994
Hometown: Accra, Ghana
Last Club: Inter Allies FC (Ghana Premier League)
20 year-old Ghanaian forward Fatawu Safiu joins T2 on loan from Inter Allies FC of the Ghana Premier League, with an option to purchase his contract at the end of the season.
A creative attacker and goalscorer, Fatawu led Inter Allies with 7 goals and 2 assists for the second half of the 2014 season, returning from a loan to Swedish second division side Vimmerby IF, where he also notched 7 goals in 20 appearances in 2013. Additionally, has also appeared for Ghana's U20 squad, according to this interview from Inter Allies.
Fatawu was originally on the Timbers' radar in 2014, when he trialed with the team for three weeks last July. While not offered a contract last season, Fatawu has been in Timbers camp since the start of preseason and recorded either a goal or an assist in each of T2's preseason matches, capping it off with this goal in the 34th minute against the Portland Pilots on Sunday:
Prior to his time with Vimmerby IF, Fatawu appeared for Liberty Professionals FC of the Ghana Premier League in 2012-2013 and Accra Inter Allies of the Ghana Division One League, a second tier regional league in Ghana in 2011-2012. Unfortunately, so stats were available from his time at either of these teams, but this highlight video, posted on YouTube in July 2012 likely shows footage from his time with both of these clubs.
Fatawu appears to capable of playing both in the center or on the wing as either a midfielder or forward, lining up along the left-hand side of the pitch but drifting centrally during Sunday's match, though he can play on the right as well. In the highlight video above, he shows good vision for finding the back of the net when lined up top, as well as some decent hold up play when one on one with defenders. When put in the midfield, he looks like more of a distributor, playing off his teammates movement and creating space for himself in the attack to move the ball up the pitch and has some fancy footwork to throw off defenders as well.
Fatawu appears to be an exemplar of what T2 is all about: a solid prospect with first team potential, but needs some more time on the pitch before getting more serious consideration. As a 20 year old, he as plenty of room to grow, and he appears well on his way to be a very exciting players for Timbers fans to forward to seeing in the future.