AFC Ann Arbor are thrilled to announce the signing of Nevello Yoseke to The Mighty Oak’s 2019 roster. Yoseke is a 23-year-old with first team experience high-level overseas, and international experience for the Canadian U-17s. Moving with his family from Sudan to Egypt as a refugee at just the age of four, then Egypt to Ottawa at the age of eleven, Yoseke is not merely a superb player, but a true success story and a testament to hard work and maintaining hope. As a player in Canada, Yoseke spent time with the Montreal Impact’s youth teams before playing overseas, most recently in the third-tier of Swedish football.
Starting with his history as a youth Canadian national, Yoseke was a member of a squad that traveled to the UAE to take on the likes of Argentina and Austria in the U-17 World Cup in 2013. He featured in the Canadian’s game against Austria. Canada finished behind Argentina, who had players like Emanuel Mammana, Sebastian Druissi (both now with Zenit), and Christian Pavon (eleven caps with Argentina’s senior team), and Iran. This was also the same tournament that the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho (Leicester City, formerly of Manchester City) and Nathan (out on loan from Chelsea) made their first global impact. Playing at a high level since a young age has allowed Yoseke to be around elite set-ups and given him access to some of the highest levels of coaching and teammates one can find at the U-17 level.
On the higher-level, Yoseke continued his development even at a young age. After a stellar performance for the Montreal Impact’s U-18 side, Yoseke was signed on for his first full season with FC Montreal, the then-USL affiliate of the Impact, in the summer of 2015. He made 25 appearances despite still being just a teenager before moving over to Europe where he spent a season with Oskarshamm AIK in Sweden. He bounced from there to AS Saint-Priest for three months, however he encountered visa issues and was unable to be signed. Since then, however, he has remained fit by training with his hometown USL Championship side, the Ottawa Fury.
Primarily a defensive midfielder, Yoseke offers an entirely new aspect for the team. “Basically, I’m a very, very, very hard worker, I have good stamina, I can read the game very well. I can win a lot of balls in the air, on the ground…I’m very good at one-vs-ones [and] building from the back and helping the team go forward.” The three ‘very’s were not for dramatic effect. Yoseke covers a ton of ground and is able to pick out spots that teams are vulnerable and capitalize with strong tackles to win the ball. Eric Rudland highlighted his new midfielder’s key intrinsic attributes saying, “[Bringing] a player into our team with that type of experience will be a great asset for our club. He is also a versatile player who can play as a defensive center mid or in the backline.” Indeed, Yoseke can also fill in at right back when needed. The positional fluidity combined with the brilliant defense mind allows Yoseke to have the potential for an immediate impact.
His road to AFCAA came from, like so many, a personal connection. “I found out through a friend who used to play with [AFC]… he told me about Eric, he told me about the environment and how the community, it’s a very close community,” he said to AFCAA. He expanded upon that, saying, “Everybody is close to each other, it’s almost like a family.” It is yet another prime example of the AFCAA Family meaning something much more to players, staff, and fans alike than just a saying. “I spoke to Eric before, I spoke to him on the phone before making the decision. It was basically a conversation about the club and the vision of the club and what to expect coming there,” Yoseke said of his conversation with the head coach. The conversation would seem to have been the icing on the cake for Yoseke, who mentioned how he did his own independent research of the club as well.
Perhaps given his high level of play in the past, Yoseke’s expectations have been high right out the gate. “I want to really come in and win every single game and basically take the team to the top even, you know about the U.S. Open Cup,” he said to AFCAA, referring to the national cup competition the team will be a part of for the third consecutive year, the longest active stretch out of any team that has been a member of the NPSL for that duration. “I told Eric I really want to take the team as far as we can go, so my expectations are to go there and play as best as we can play and win every single game we can.” They are lofty hopes, but the level of experience he has allows Yoseke to make these goals for himself, with strong determination to see them out.
Talking to the fans, Yoseke said, “I promise I will bring them something completely different to the team and the team will be very enjoyable to watch.” He would add that, “It’ll be a really fun season to watch in terms of going far to the finals and winning cups and everything.” Wrapping up, the Canadian midfielder would then say, “The fans can expect a very, very different, and very successful, year.” With the season around the corner, this should only serve to spur excitement forward for the summer to come.
About AFC Ann Arbor
Founded in 2014, Association Football Club Ann Arbor launched it’s men’s semi-pro team in 2015 and has competed in the NPSL since 2016. Led by Head Coach & Sporting Director, Eric Rudland, the team has found great success winning back to back Great Lakes Championships (‘17 & ‘18) and earning US Open Cup bids three straight years (2017-2019). In October 2018, the club announced the launch of the women’s side, who will be skippered by Andy “Pritch” Pritchard in their inaugural season of the United Women’s Soccer national league. Owned and operated by a group of local soccer fans and entrepreneurs, AFC Ann Arbor has become a fixture in the greater Ann Arbor community.