Winnipegger Ali Musse will be the fifth homegrown player in city’s new professional soccer team Valour FC.
The team announced signing of the contract with him on Thursday. Ali said he was experiencing incredible emotions from returning to his hometown.
“It’s something that you obviously grow up dreaming about, playing professional soccer,” Musse said. “But to do it in your hometown is just something amazing.”
The last three years, the 23-year-old midfielder has played for Calgary Foothills FC. The young talent from Winnipeg even helped his past team win the Premier Development League championship, scoring 2 goals in the final of 2018.
In youth, Ali Musse played for provincial under-14 and under-16 teams. Then he joined under-18 squad of the Vancouver Whitecaps Residency. Musse said that now he received offers from other teams, but he made his choice in favour of Winnipeg because of the good relationship with the head coach Rob Gale. They have a long history - Ali played under the guidance of this coach when he was 10.
“I had another opportunity in Edmonton,” Musse said. “I just have full trust in Rob, in what he’s building out here.”
Now the coach and the player do not hide their sympathy friend and do not stint compliments.
“Probably the first time that I really thought that he was going to turn the screw on his career, and we went to Costa Rica. It was my first time as the under-18 national team coach,” Gale said. “We gave Ali his debut for Canada that day. I think we said afterwards, we need one ball for Ali and one for everybody else. He just dominated the game. I think he scored two, set up two, one penalty — and just had all of the attributes of a young, attacking player.”
“Robby has one of the highest soccer IQs from a coach that I’ve worked with,” Musse said. “I just feel he knows a lot about the game, obviously, and he has so much to give to the city and to the fans here.”
The first training camp of the Winnipeg team begins on March 5, and the first matches will be held in May.