Harrison Afful

Harrison Afful
Harrison Afful
Harrison Afful
Defender
25
Real Name: Harrison Afful
HT: 5' 6" WT: 135
Pronunciation: AH-full (like Waffle)
Age: 32 (07/24/1986)
Birthplace: Tema, Ghana
Hometown: Awutu Breku, Ghana

PRONUNCIATION

PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE

2018 (Columbus): Harrison Afful has made 31 regular-season appearances (all starts as a right back) in 2018, scoring two goals and providing four assists. He played all 90 minutes in eight consecutive matches beginning with a road match against Toronto FC (March 3) to a home match against the New England Revolution (April 21). Then, Afful scored a goal in a home match against the San Jose Earthquakes (April 28). He returned to the starting lineup in consecutive matches from a home match against the Philadelphia Union (May 9) to a home match against Toronto FC (June 2). In a home match against the New York Red Bulls the following week (June 9), Afful provided his first assist of the season on Gyasi Zardes’ 27th-minute goal en route to earning MLSSoccer.com Team of the Week honors. The match also marked Afful’s 75th regular-season start for Crew SC. Afful provided the game-winning assist in a home match against Real Salt Lake (June 30). He made a substitute appearance in an international friendly at home against Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa (July 3). He continued to start in MLS regular-season action in road matches against the LA Galaxy (July 7) and New York City FC (July 14). In a home match against Orlando City SC (July 21), Afful provided an assist on Gyasi Zardes’ 51st-minute goal. The following week, in a road match against the New York Red Bulls (July 28), Afful recorded an assist on Patrick Mullins’ 24th-minute goal. Then, he provided the game-winning assist on Gyasi Zardes’ first-minute of second-half stoppage time goal against the Houston Dynamo (August 11), marking the third consecutive match in which he has provided an assist. He continued to start in matches against Atlanta United FC (August 19), the Chicago Fire (August 23) and New York City FC (September 1). Against New York City FC, Afful scored his second goal of the season, which was nominated for MLSSoccer.com’s Goal of the Week. His performance also earned him a spot on MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week. On September 8, Afful made a substitute appearance for Ghana in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Kenya.  After returning from international duty, he started in consecutive matches from a road contest against FC Dallas (September 15) to a road match against Orlando City SC (October 21).

2017 (Columbus): Afful made 24 appearances (21 starts) this season: 19 appearances (16 starts) at rightback and five starts at right wingback, recording one assist. He made his season debut as a starter in the Opening Match against the Chicago Fire (March 4). Following his appearance against Portland Timbers (March 25), Afful was named to MLSSoccer.com’s Team of the Week. He madehis 50th appearance for the club as a starter in a road match against the Colorado Rapids (June 3). He earned his 72nd international cap in a 2018 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Ethiopia (June 11). Afful started and recorded his first assist of the 2017 MLS regular season in a road match against Atlanta United FC (June 17). He missed the matches against the Philadelphia Union (July 26), Real Salt Lake (July 29) and the San Jose Earthquakes (August 5) after being listed as questionable with a right thigh strain during those weeks. Afful returned to the starting lineup in a home match against the Chicago Fire (August 12). He started and received a red card in the road match against Orlando City SC (August 19) and was consequently suspended for the following home match against the LA Galaxy (August 23). Afful made five appearances (all starts) as a rightback, registering one goal in the Audi 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs. 

2016 (Columbus): Afful made 29 appearances (29 starts) for Crew SC at rightback with three goals and three assists. On March 17, he received a senior National Team call-up from Ghana ahead of two Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches, earning his 59th and 60th caps with starts in both contests (March 4, March 27). He registered his first assist of 2016 against Colorado (May 14). The defender earned a call-up from the Ghana National Team (May 23) ahead of a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match. He registered his 61st cap in a start for Ghana as the Black Stars officially clinched qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations (June 5). He notched his second assist of the campaign in a start at Sporting Kansas City (July 3). He scored his first career MLS goal during a start vs. Toronto FC (July 13). Afful added his third assist of the season in a start vs. D.C. United (July 16). He received a call-up from Ghana prior to the Black Stars' Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda (September 3) and their friendly against Russia (September 6) and earned caps with starts in both matches. He scored his second goal of the season in a 3-0 victory over Chicago (October 1). He received a call-up from Ghana prior to Black Stars' World Cup qualifier against Uganda (October 7) and their friendly against South Africa (October 11), recording his 64th and 65th caps. He scored his third goal of the season at New York Red Bulls (October 16). He did not make an appearance in the 2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. 

2015 (Columbus): Afful made nine appearances (nine starts) after joining the club as a Discovery Signing on July 30, registering two assists. He started his first match for Crew SC at rightback against New York City FC (August 19), playing 60 minutes in his debut and tying for the team lead in crosses from open play with seven. He was called-up by Ghana ahead of a friendly against Congo and a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Rwanda, missing Crew SC’s match against FC Dallas (September 6) while with the National Team. He returned to the starting lineup at Philadelphia (September 12), notching his first assist with Crew SC on the game-winning goal to Kei Kamara. He recorded his second assist of the season at New York (October 3). Following another call-up, he started for Ghana in a friendly against Canada (October 13). He returned to the Crew SC starting lineup and helped the club keep a clean sheet in a 2-0 win at Toronto (October 17), and was part of another shutout effort on Decision Day against D.C. United (October 25), a 5-0 Crew SC win. In the Audi 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs, Afful started all five matches for Crew SC. He did not make an appearance in the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, having joined the club following the conclusion of its tournament run.

2014-15 (Esperance): Afful made 23 Ligue 1 appearances during his final season with ES Tunis (all starts), helping the club to a 17-4-9 record, good for third place and qualification into the 2015-16 CAF Confederations Cup. He scored two goals and added four assists on the season. The defender made an additional four appearances in the 2015 CAF Champions League, notching one goal and one assist.

2013-14 (Esperance): ES Tunis were once again crowned Ligue 1 champions in 2013-14, Afful’s fourth title, as the club went 19-2-9 in a reversion to the traditional format. Afful made a career-high 27 appearances (26 starts), scoring four goals and adding three assists. In the 2014 CAF Champions League, Afful failed to advance from the Group Stage for the first time in his then-five-year history with the club, scoring two goals and adding two assists over six appearances in the tournament as a whole.

2012-13 (Esperance): Following a format change to the Ligue Professionnelle 1, Afful and ES Tunis finished in second place. The league was split into two groups of eight, with the top two teams from each group qualifying for the championship phase. Afful made 12 appearances (all starts), scoring three goals and adding two assists in the regular season. In the playoff round, he made five additional appearances (all starts) with one assist. In the 2013 CAF Champions League, he helped ES Tunis reach the Semifinals for the fourth straight season with 10 appearances (all starts).

2011-12 (Esperance): Afful won his third straight Ligue 1 title with ES Tunis and also helped the club reach the CAF Champions League Final for the third consecutive season. In league play, he made 16 appearances (11 starts) with two assists. In the 2012 CAF Champions League, he added 11 appearances (10 starts) and two more assists, but the Blood & Gold fell to Al-Ahly in the Final. By virtue of winning the CAF Champions League in 2011, ES Tunis qualified for the 2011 FIFA Club World Cup in Japan, in which Afful made two appearances.

2010-11 (Esperance): Afful captured his second consecutive Ligue 1 title in 2010-11 with Esperance, as the club went 20-2-4 over the season. The defender made 17 league appearances (14 starts), notching two assists. He again featured heavily in the CAF Champions League, making an additional 11 appearances (nine starts) as ES Tunis went to the Final for the second consecutive season. After finishing as runners-up in 2010, Afful helped Esperance capture the title in 2011 by scoring the game-winning goal in the second leg against Moroccan side Wydad Casablanca.

2009-10 (Esperance): In his debut season with ES Tunis, Afful won his first of four Tunisian Ligue 1 titles. He made 19 appearances in league play (16 starts), scoring two goals and notching five assists, including an assist in his first-ever Ligue 1 match against Club Sportif Sfaxien on September 12, 2009. In CAF Champions League play, he made an additional 10 appearances (all starts), scoring one goal in the second leg of the Final against eventual winners TP Mazembe.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE

As September 8, 2018

Afful has earned 77 caps for Ghana. The defender made his debut for the Black Stars on February 9, 2008 in that year's Africa Cup of Nations. He has since gone on to appear in 23 Africa Cup of Nations matches, 17 FIFA World Cup qualification matches, 11 international friendlies, and two matches at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where he notched an assist in a 2-2 draw against eventual champions Germany in the Group Stage.

He was called-up by Ghana for the first time as a member of Crew SC in advance of a friendly on September 1 vs. Congo, where he started and captained the Black Stars in a 3-2 win. He again started for the team in a 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification match against Rwanda (September 5), helping Ghana to a 1-0 victory. He earned a second call-up on September 29, 2015 ahead of a Black Stars friendly in Washington D.C. against Canada (October 13), where he started in the 1-1 draw.

The defender earned another call-up by Ghana on November 10, 2015 ahead of CAF Second Round qualification for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. In the first leg of the home-and-home two-legged series against Comoros, a 0-0 draw, Afful earned his 57th cap for his country (November 13). He earned his 58th cap in the second leg of the tie, a 2-0 win (November 17) that sent Ghana through to the next round of qualifying.

Afful was again called up in March 2016 ahead of two Africa Cup of Nations qualification matches against Mozambique. He started each contest, his 59th and 60th caps, helping the Black Stars to a 3-1 win on March 24 and a 0-0 draw on March 27. Following another call-up for the next round of AFCON qualifiers, Afful earned cap number 61 in a start against Mauritius (June 5). Following a 2-0 win, the Black Stars officially clinched qualification for the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations. Afful was again called-up by Ghana ahead of two contests in early September, with the first taking place in Accra against Rwanda as part of 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification (September 3) and the second a friendly against Russia in Moscow (September 6). He earned his 62nd and 63rd caps with a start in each match.

The defender was called up in October, 2016 and started in a World Cup Qualifier against Uganda (October 7) and a friendly against South Africa (October 11). Afful notched an assist against South Africa, helping Ghana earn a 1-1 draw. He next featured for Ghana in a World Cup Qualifier against Egypt (November 13), earning his 66th cap. Afful was named to Ghana's 2017 Africa Cup of Nations roster and played every minute of the tournament for the Black Stars, helping them earn a fourth-place finish and earning his 71st international cap. He was also named to Ghana's roster and started in a 2018 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Ethiopia (June 11), earning his 72nd international cap. Afful started for Ghana in a friendly match against Mexico (June 28), playing the entire 90 minutes en route to earning his 73rd cap. He made appearances in Ghana's two World Cup Qualfiers: Afful played 45 minutes in a substitute appearance in Ghana’s 1-1 home draw against Congo (September 1) and 90 minutes in a starting appearance in the Black Stars 5-1 road victory against Congo (September 5), reaching 75 caps. He earned his 76th cap in Ghana's 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier against Egypt (November 12), starting, playing 90 minutes and serving as captain. Afful's most recent cap came in a 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying match against Kenya at Moi International Sports Centre in Nairobi, Kenya (September 8, 2018).

ACQUIRED

Columbus Crew SC signs defender Harrison Afful as a Discovery Signing on July 30, 2015. He was officially added to the Black & Gold roster following receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.

Name: Harrison Afful
Pronunciation: AH-full
Position: Defender
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 128
Born: July 24, 1986 in Tema, Ghana
Hometown: Senya Breku, Ghana
Citizenship: Ghana
Acquired: Signed by Crew SC on July 30, 2015. He was officially added to the Black & Gold roster following receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and P-1 Visa.
Previous Experience: Esperance Sportive de Tunis (2009-15), Asante Kotoko (2007-09), Feyenoord Academy (2005-09)

PERSONAL

Afful is married and has two children. His favorite memory in soccer is scoring the game-winning goal in the 2011 CAF Champions League final, a left-footed curler from the right side. Afful's favorite type of music is gospel and he enjoys movies from his native Ghana and Nigeria. Growing up, he supported Asante Kotoko of the Ghana Premier League. If he were not a professional soccer player, he would like to have a career as an advisor, giving advice to children to help direct them on the right path in life. Away from the field, Afful enjoys to relax at home, watch movies and also study his play. Afful speaks English and Twi.


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Stats

MLS
Career Statistics (Regular Season)
YearClubGPGSGMINSASHTSSOGFCOFFYR
2018Columbus Crew SC32322286465613171510
2017Columbus Crew SC242101777116211631
2016Columbus Crew SC3030325673401327611
2015Columbus Crew SC9907602319300
Career Totals-9592579681211529643052
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