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Sunday 20 January 2013

Where Are They Now? Fuad Ibrahim

    When last Ibrahim popped his head above the parapet the former Toronto FC and Generation Adidas striker had joined Minnesota Stars FC of NASL at the start of the 2012 season.

    His contribution to the club’s campaign was as muted as his displays during his time in MLS had been, garnering only a smattering of minutes (193) in five appearances including a shot – off-target – and a booking, leading to his eventual release at the conclusion of the season.

    Despite three similarly disappointing seasons in Toronto, it’s difficult to hold any ill-feeling towards a kid who found himself out of his depth and alone, at a club rife with turmoil and a revolving door of managers. His transfer to Toronto from Dallas was reportedly precipitated in an attempt to move him closer to his family – he had an uncle in the Toronto area – and unfortunately, it didn’t work out.

    Now Ibee – or is it Ibby – has been called up to the Ethiopian squad representing the nation of his birth in the current edition of the Africa Cup of Nations taking place in South Africa.

    Further research has uncovered that this story has, of course, already been spotted by the good folks over at Waking the Red, where they link to another wonderful piece at CNN by old favourite of POV-FS’, James Montague, author of When Friday Comes: Football in the War Zone. Do go and give it a read.

    The unattached Ibee even scored on his debut in a pre-tournament friendly against Tanzania and hopes this could be the re-start of his professional career.

    To echo the well-wishes of Dave Rowaan at WTR, many Toronto fans had a soft spot for the quiet kid who just could not find his feet in MLS, hopefully, this new chance, one with a nod to his heritage, will work out for the now twenty-one year old, matured by time and disappointment.

    Ethiopia was drawn into Group C, alongside defending champions Zambia and perennial powerhouses Nigeria - it will be a difficult ask to progress to the knock-out stages alongside such stiff competition, but a strong performance against two of the more high-profile attendees at the tournament will do Ibee and the nation well.

    Ethiopia plays Zambia tomorrow (January 21st), Burkina Faso on the 25th and Nigeria on the 29th.

    POV-FS will be watching eagerly, in hope of catching a glimpse of the former prodigy and seeing him do well.

    Go get ‘em kid; from half a world away, Toronto will be cheering for you.

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