Electric Ghanaian Forward Brings Added Punch to Eleven Attacking Corps
INDIANAPOLIS (Monday, April 11, 2022) – In one of the biggest signings in club history, Indy Eleven added to its attacking firepower with today’s addition of two-time USL Championship Most Valuable Player Solomon Asante.
Per club policy, details of the contract that brings the influential Ghanian forward to the Circle City will not be released. Asante is currently undergoing the immigration process necessary for his arrival in the United States, and while no exact timeline is available the club expects him to commence training in Indiana in approximately the next three weeks.
“The USL Championship has always been a great place to play. For me, the challenge never ends and that’s why I chose this great club in Indy Eleven for a new challenge in my career,” said Asante. “With Coach [Mark] Lowry’s remarkable experience, I believe together with my teammates that history will be made. I look forward to meeting the great fans in Indianapolis and especially gaining the support of the Brickyard Battalion.”
Asante joins Indiana’s Team after an accomplished four-year span with Phoenix Rising FC that included three All-USL Championship First Team nods from 2018-20 and back-to-back league MVP honors in 2019 and 2020, making him only the second player in league history to win the award twice alongside Kevin Molino. The 5’2” dynamo was simply the most productive player in the Championship during his run in the desert, scoring 54 goals and contributing 42 assists in 113 regular season (103) and playoff (10) contests.
“To be able to add a player of Solomon Asante’s quality and caliber to our club shows the ambition we have,” said Indy Eleven Head Coach Mark Lowry. “Building a winning team and a club that consistently competes for championships requires having strong characters and winning mentalities in the locker room, and Solo definitely checks those boxes for us.”
Asante’s resulting 0.87 goals + assists per 90 minutes figure outranks any player in league history, and he is the only player in the USL Championship’s 40 goal/40 assist club during regular season play. His 41 career assists in regular season action are currently the fourth most in league history and place only six behind category leader Kenardo Forbes.
A jaw-dropping 2019 campaign saw Asante record a league-record 17 assists while scoring 22 goals, itself ranking as the third highest in a single season. Those numbers contributed to team success as well, as Phoenix shattered Championship records in goals scored (89) and consecutive wins (20) en route to finishing the campaign with 78 points – one more than FC Cincinnati’s historic haul the season prior.
“Solomon’s individual numbers speak for themselves, but it’s his ability to make his teammates better and raise the level of a squad that makes him a truly gifted player and one we sought highly,” said Indy Eleven President & CEO Greg Stremlaw. “We are thrilled to have him be an important contributor to the winning culture we are building under Coach Lowry moving forward.”
Asante put the USL Championship on notice in 2018, when his 14 goals and nine assists helped Phoenix capture its first Western Conference title. The following season his streak of seven straight games with a goal tied him for the second-longest stretch in league annals, contributing mightily to Rising FC’s record form. In 2020, Asante again led the Championship with nine assists during the truncated season and helped Phoenix to a second Western Conference championship in what would be his second consecutive MVP season.
Asante represented his native Ghana on the senior international level on 21 occasions between 2012-15, including six appearances in the African Cup of Nations continental championship and a trio in FIFA World Cup Qualifying. Asante was an accomplished player in a trio of African leagues prior to jumping stateside, suiting up for Ghanaian sides Feyenoord Ghana (2007-09) and Berekum Chelsea (2011-13), ASFA Yennenga in Burkina Faso (2009-11), and Congolese club TP Mazembe from 2013-17. Asante thrived with Mazembe, helping the squad to three league titles in four seasons as well as African Champions League (2015) and African Super League (2016) crowns. He ended his playing days in Africa by being named the Ghana Player of the Year in 2017.
On the heels of last Saturday’s 2-1 win at Rio Grande Valley FC, Indy Eleven will bring a three-game unbeaten streak home to IUPUI Carroll Stadium this Saturday, April 16, when it takes on Atlanta United 2. The 7:00 p.m. ET kick can be followed on MyINDY-TV 23, Exitos Radio 94.3 FM/943exitos.com, and ESPN+. Tickets for all Indy Eleven home contests are available starting at just $15 and can be purchased online at indyeleven.com/tickets.