Seattle Ghana Black Stars provide home for thrown away talents

Seattle Ghana Black Stars provide home for thrown away talents

We all need a place to play and a soccer club to call home. The Seattle Ghana Black Stars have become that and more since the club was founded in 2010.

by David Falk

Issah Yeboah Agyeman watched the 2010 World Cup with other Seattleites. He couldn’t help but be energized by Ghana’s deep run in the tournament. He took that energy and passion and formed the Seattle Ghana Black Stars. The club currently plays in the InterAmericana League, which itself was founded back in 1991 out of the local Hispanic community.

Issah wears the Captain’s armband. (Facebook photo)

“It all started during the 2010 World Cup,” explains Issah. “As a huge soccer fan I wasn’t going to miss the World Cup matches for anybody despite my time away from soccer, but I was really disappointed when Ghana and USA were eliminated from the tournament. Before the World Cup I was on retirement for ten years. Back in high school I played four years at Tyee.  After graduation I went to Highline Community College (2001). I tried out for their soccer team and I made it, but I was on my own. No parents, no guardians and no support, so I had to find a way to make a living, so I decided to quit soccer for good and become a man of my destiny.  Nine years later, I end up with two kids. Although I retired from soccer, the competiveness never went anywhere. I was looking for a way to get back on the field, mainly because I wanted to retire from something else for good that was tearing my life apart in a major way, so I joined a team, got my feet wet for a bit, got back in shape.”

Issah had the support of his family and he dreamed about making another, bigger soccer step. “Thank God my lady was a good soccer player, we were able to train together and compete many times, a lot of credit goes to her.” Then the spark from the Ghana performance in 2010 hit a fuse. “One day I was thinking that, there isn’t any Ghana team in Seattle. I decided to form a Ghanaian team. I started recruiting young players from all different kind of races that were wasting their talents by hanging in the streets or young teenagers from local areas, recreational teams, high school kids, and young adult college students.  A month later I had recruited about twenty players, and with the word of mouth more young guys started to join SGBS.”

For Issah, desire, commitment and reliability are important player standards. “I started a three days tryout routine, the tryout was for players to prove their commitment to the team and also skills display.  If a player made all three practices, they made the team. Under that notion I tought myself how to coach, read a few books on soccer drills and also I started to implement drills that I learned from my old coaches. Collectively I took ideas from all sources; I attended a few soccer seminars to learn more conditioning drills.  Overall the strategy has helped me a lot.  In the last two years I have been coaching and playing with the team, and we have also been practicing twice a week for the last two years.”

The Black Stars have been good since they began, but they don’t have a league title yet. “We are currently in the Hispanic league, called InterAmericana. This season is our third season, and possibly the last season in this league. We have lost two back to back playoff games and this season we are determined to accomplish our goal, winning a championship!

SGBS have been slowly making their presence known in Puget Sound soccer. “We have competed in numerous of competitive friendly matches,” notes Issah. “Nothing too big, but we have played some good teams such as the Somalia team, Liberian team, Brazilian, Ethiopia team, a Mexican Team, and we won all of them. We are currently negotiating a friendly match with a USA team called South Sound FC.  It will be the Seattle version of Ghana vs. USA, if it happens. We are also gearing up for the Starfire Premier League (SPL) and All Nations Cup this coming spring and summer.  We are definitely getting our feet in the door and hoping to make some noise real soon.”

Issah, far left (armband), congratulates a teammate after a match.

Issah says there are bigger dreams to realize. “The future is bright for the SGBS, as Seattle Ghana Black Stars will soon turn into an academy of building more throw away talents, and hoping to give these kids a better life in sports and education or perhaps better future in life as whole. There are a lot of  kids with great talent but who never got a chance to show it. I’m a prime example of it. At times Parents also are too poor to support the children in sports.Once the Academy starts, age limit will range from 10 years to 18 years of age. We are hoping to get a sponsor as well for the team. Overall Seattle Ghana Black Stars is a great team; we are looking forward to competing in all Seattle soccer league programs. We welcome all friendly matches as well. Hope to make changes in young kids and teenagers lives by giving them a chance to show their talents through soccer.”

Seattle Ghana Black Stars are currently in  third place in the InterAmericana League with a record of 8 wins, 3 ties, and 1 loss. The club’s next match is today (Sunday, February 26) at 3pm at Franklin High School against Amigos Realty.

Seattle Ghana Black Stars on Facebook


9 thoughts on “Seattle Ghana Black Stars provide home for thrown away talents

  1. These pictures scream sexy, yet tough and rugged. Forget soccer, lets get some modeling careers started! … But in all seriousness, great story. I remember playing against some of these guys and they are some of the most passionate players to play against. Fully dedicated to every tackle. Admittedly, it’s a lil intimidating

  2. Issah sent us an update on Sunday’s Black Stars match.

    Black-Stars 4:2 Amigos

    Great game today Black-Stars, despite not having some of the key players, I think the guys did a great job. We started off slow, but in the middle of the first half, our striker Sadir went to work, taking advantage on the diagonal runs really paid off as he ended with up two goals. Our wingers Hamidou and Adama also had 1 goal each to put a lock on the game. Though in the second half, our defenders were little vulnerable on decision making with the ball, Center back Tody did a good job communicating with the guys and getting them back in tune.

    We played a lot better in the first half, which earned us 3 goals, but the second half were a little shaky, the other team started putting pressure on us in the beginning of the 2nd half. We didn’t expect that coming, they score 2 goals in 10 mins. I think some of the guys were a little tired and confuse about the formation, but we quickly got ourselves together and got back in the game.

    Saturday Practice was a bit long, but it was needed, in the end we manage to hold on to the lead, by beating Amigos 4-2. This was a team that tied with us in the 1st round of the season. So this win was huge. Tough games ahead in the 2nd round. We are going to get some rest and get ready for next Sunday. —Issah

  3. I like it, its a good thing someone finally created an important team with an African origin name. We a looking forwad to join such a good program.

  4. Hi Coach.
    Respect to you and the team, we want to join your team in the up-coming season at starfire complex, or any other tourrnment.
    Solomon, Allen, and Ibrahim
    Contact: 206-371-7056
    Thank you.

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