Mamadou “Futty” Danso training with Minnesota Thunder
Inside Minnesota Soccer was tipped off on Wednesday evening that Mamadou “Futty” Danso was in Minnesota and training with the Thunder. I contacted Donny Gramenz, head coach of the Thunder and he’s confirmed that Futty is training with the team. Gramenz added that the defender has been looking very sharp.
Djorn Buchholz, Thunder GM also confirmed that the Gambian is with the team but said he has not been offered a contract yet.
The big central defender is said to be very athletic. Danso played for the Carolina Railhawks U-23 team last summer and impressed many. He reportedly had a very fine game against Burnley FC last season when the team was in the States for pre-season training.
He attended Southern Polytechnic where he was named the 2008 Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Player of the Year, Offensive Player of Year, First Team Selection (’07 and ’08) and Newcomer of the Year (’07). He led the SSAC in goals, shots, shots on goal, and points per game. He was also in the top five nationally in all those categories. He was the only person in the nation to have such a statistically strong year, being the only one in the nation to be in the top five in all those categories. He did all of this while playing as a Center Back for the last seven matches of the season. Equally impressive is that he was named the SSAC Offensive Player of the Week and SSAC Defensive Player of the Week in the same season.
Futty was picked up on waivers by DC United on February 13 after leaving college early. He was then released to Carolina and picked up again by United when the team was in Charleston to play in the Carolina Cup.
His college coach Kom Momeni said this about Danso, “He has always been very reluctant to play as a forward, as his natural position is a center back. He will be a professional in that position. He never felt comfortable as a forward. He just did it because it was best for the team.”
The Minnesota Thunder have strong connections with DC United as team coach Tom Soehn and Manny Lagos are former teammates in MLS. I also wonder if Nic Platter who was released just last week from DC United put in the good word for Futty after seeing him play.
In other Thunder news, look for the team to possibly announce the signing of 2 trialists in the next few days.