Timbers sign Ghanaian midfielder Kalif Alhassan

PORTLAND, Ore. – The Portland Timbers today announced the signing of Ghana U-20 National Team member and midfielder Kalif Alhassan for the remainder of the 2010 USSF Division-2 Pro League season.

Alhassan, 19, joins the Timbers after suiting up for Liberty Professionals of Ghana’s GLO Premier League from 2007-10. He is scheduled to arrive in Portland and begin training with the club in early Sept.

“Kalif was one of the standout players from my recent scouting trip to Ghana,” said Gavin Wilkinson, head coach and general manager for the Timbers. “He is a young, attack-minded player, who we think has a bright future.”

Alhassan has been a member of Ghana’s National Team system since 2007, playing with both the U-17 and U-20 National Teams. He was first invited to be a part of the Ghana U-20 National Team in 2008 and has participated in several camps for the U-20s, including the 2009 Youth African Championship and the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup. In 2008, he was also called into camp with the senior national team for the 2009 African Nations Championship.

A native of Accra, Ghana, Alhassan started his professional career with Liberty Professionals in 2007. During the 2009-10 season, he helped the club reach the semifinals of the 2009 West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Club Championship.

Liberty Professionals has helped develop some of Ghana’s top talent. Several members of Ghana’s 2010 FIFA World Cup squad have played part of their career with the club, including goalkeeper Daniel Agyei, forward Asamoah Gyan and midfielders Sulley Muntari and Kwadwo Asamoah. Midfielder Michael Essien, who currently plays for English club Chelsea, played for Liberty Professionals in the early stages of his career from 1999-2000.