LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (SU ATHLETICS) – Syracuse forward and 2022 NCAA College Cup Most Outstanding Offensive Player Nathan Opoku is heading to Europe, making a move to English Premier League side Leicester City F.C. The Ghanaian striker will begin his professional career with a loan move to Belgian Pro League club OH Leuven.
Opoku completes an incredible journey to the Premier League. The Accra, Ghana native began his collegiate career in 2021 at NAIA program Lindsey Wilson College. He garnered second team NAIA All-American honors after scoring 19 goals in 19 matches.
Prior to the start of the 2022 season, Opoku transferred to Syracuse, where he became a prominent attacking talent in the Atlantic Coast Conference under head coach Ian McIntyre. The sophomore tallied 11 goals and eight assists in his 25 matches for the Orange. Opoku starred at the 2022 NCAA College Cup, pushing ‘Cuse to its first national championship with two goals and two assists in the semifinal and final. He earned a wide array of individual honors in his lone season with the Orange, taking home All-American and All-South Region honors from the United Soccer Coaches and All-ACC First Team recognition.
Opoku takes his talents to Leicester City F.C., a club in England’s first division, the Premier League. The Foxes have achieved resounding success in the past decade, winning the Premier League title in the 2015-16 season and the prestigious FA Cup in 2021. LCFC was founded in 1884 and play its home matches at the King Power Stadium.
For the remainder of the 2022-23 season, Opoku will join OH Leuven on a loan. A loan is a temporary transfer and a common practice in the European soccer system. A loan move allows younger players to enhance their development with more playing time. Following the completion of the loan, a player returns to their original club.
OH Leuven are a Belgian Pro League club, participating in the top domestic league in Belgium. Fellow former Orange and 2022 FIFA World Cup participant Tajon Buchanan also plays in the Belgian Pro League, as he is a regular starter for Club Brugge.