HARTFORD, Conn. – Hartford Athletic announced on Tuesday the club had signed Sierra Leone international Emmanuel Samadia ahead of the 2024 USL Championship season. The transaction is pending league and federation approval.
Samadia comes to Hartford after a three-year stint with Hapoel Umm al-Fahm and Hapoel Rishon leZion of Liga Leumit, the Second Division of the Israeli Football League. He made 89 appearances from 2020-2023, logging 10 assists and scoring two goals. In January of 2023, he helped his side win the Liga Leumit Toto Cup.
“Emmanuel is a young ambitious player that has great potential. He is an exceptional athlete who has shown well for his national team against some of Africa’s best teams,” said Hartford Athletic CEO Nick Sakiewicz.
A native of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Samadia began his professional career playing with FC Kallon of the Sierra Leone Premier League from 2019 to 2021. In 2020, he received his first call up to the Sierra Leone National Team and has earned 13 international caps. Most recently, the 22-year-old recorded assists in consecutive matches against Nigeria and Guinea-Bissau in the 2023 African Cup of Nations Qualifiers.
Emmanual Samadia’s addition feels like a sharp signing for Hartford Athletic with his experience in Israel and for the Sierra Leone major plusses in his favor as he comes to the United States. Using national team teammate Augustine Williams of the Charleston Battery as a point of reference, this could be a notable addition for an Athletic side looking for its first consistent run of success after its short-season playoff run in 2020.