New Tampa Bay Rowdies signing Kwadwo Poku scored seven goals in 36 appearances for New York City FC across the 2015 and 2016 seasons. | Photo courtesy New York City FC
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Rowdies announced on Tuesday the club had signed former New York City FC midfielder Kwadwo Poku for the remainder of the USL season. 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.
The 26-year-old 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 Major League Soccer in 2015 and 2016, during which time he made 36 appearances and scored seven goals in the top flight.
“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. 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.”
Poku also featured prominently for Miami FC after a midseason move during the 2016 season from New York and scored 15 goals in 55 appearances for the South Florida club. During his time in Miami, Poku helped the club reach the Quarterfinals of the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup before it was eliminated by current USL Eastern Conference-leader FC Cincinnati.
“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."
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.