US SoccerUS Soccer

w/ U-15 MNT Defender Kofi Sarkodie

National Team(s): U-15 BNT, U-14 Boy’s Program
Hometown: Huber Heights, Ohio
Birthdate: 3/22/1991
Height: 5’8”
Weight: 135
Club: Ohio FC

Kofi Sarkodie is not “Little Ofori,” or “Ofori’s little brother.” Well, he IS Ofori’s little brother, but the 15-year-old defender would rather make a name for himself than be in his big brother’s shadow. The good thing is that, because he is the younger Sarkodie, he’s familiar with the U.S. National Team program and knows how focused he has to be in order to move up the ranks. The bad thing is, because he is the younger Sarkodie he still can’t quite seem to beat Ofori at chess…

In the Spotlight

1. When did you get invited into your first camp? What was your reaction?
The first camp was, I think about a year ago, they had the first U-14 men’s national camp. We had to go through the regional level to get picked. From our regional team, they selected probably about 18-20 players to go to this camp. It was amazing. When I first got invited, I was speechless. I had known, when my brother first got invited, he had already been through it and he’s now currently in residency. I knew that this was my time and my chance to get there, show my skills and show them that I also have some skills and hopefully make it down there one day.

2. What did you learn most in your first national team camp?
I think most, during my first camp, is I learned that you have to be comfortable. You can’t really be nervous, you have to go out there and take control of the game. You just have to be yourself on the field and not let anything get you down or anything. Just go out there and play and have fun.

3. Where do you see yourself in five years?
The dream right now is to get through this camp I’m in right now in Los Angeles at The Home Depot Center, hopefully make the next camp, which I believe is in June. Hopefully, make it down to Bradenton and the biggest dream, at this point, is to get with the U-17 Men and go to the World Cup with them next year. If all that’s said and done and accomplished, then after the U-17 World Cup I’d like to get invited to the 20s, continue to play with them, and hopefully get invited to the Men’s National Team.

4. What’s your best soccer moment?
I’m going to have to say, maybe about a year or two ago with my club team. We were playing regional league or national league and we were playing this team and we were down 3-0 in the first half. I was on the bench just watching the guys. We had eventually scored two goals so it was 3-2 and I came in. There was about a minute left in the game and I scored a diving header to tie it up. That was probably my most memorable moment.

5. Who’s your favorite U.S. National Team player and why?
I’m going to have to give it to DaMarcus Beasley and Brian McBride. Those two are just immaculate. They’re amazing. Starting with Beasley, I just like his whole style. He’s so quick off the ball, one-two touch. He’s a small guy but he gets the job done. And then, McBride, his presence in the air and his ability to finish is just amazing.

6. What type of music do you listen to?
I like to call myself universal. I try to listen to anything and everything. As long as it’s got a nice beat, I’m listening to it.

Do you have a favorite band?
No, I really don’t.

Do you have a favorite radio station?
I like to listen to 102.9 or 94.5 down in Ohio but anything works.

8. What kind of movies do you like to watch?
I don’t watch too many movies but I’ll watch anything. Comedies are fun but anything works.

9. Well, if you don’t watch a lot of movies, what do you do when you’re hanging out?
Most of the time, especially when I’m at home, I’m just trying to get on the ball and trying to mess around. Besides that, me and Ofori, we like to play chess. We play chess a lot. That’s pretty much what we do.

10. So who’s better at chess, you or Ofori?
I think Ofori has me beat right now. He’s got me beat. He’s always thinking a step ahead. I’m getting there, though, I’m working on it.

11. What’s the one thing you can’t leave home without?
I don’t even know if I can answer that question. I’m going to have to say, my computer. My computer is definitely key. I basically get a lot of homework done on that and play a lot of games and stuff on the computer so, yeah, I’m gonna need my computer with me.

12. Favorite soccer team in the world and why?
I think right now I’m going to have to go with Barcelona. I really like Ronaldinho, what he’s doing. He and (Leo) Messi just work it, they work off each other real well. Their whole style. And they just beat Chelsea. I’m hoping they beat Chelsea in this next game and make it through in the Champions’ League and finish everything off.

13. Tell us a little bit about Huber Heights, Ohio. What is there to do around there?
There not too much to do but it really is a good place to grow up. It’s real nice, real calm, real country, kind of. It really is just a nice place to grow up.

14. So what do you do there with your friends?
We hang out mostly at my house. We hang around and crack jokes. Lately we’ve been playing a lot of FIFA 2006. That seems to be the new game.

15. What’s your favorite food?
I’m going to have to say pizza. I like pizza quite a bit. I usually go with pepperoni or sausage.