Chinonso Offor: The Chicago Fire striker walking an unconventional path to the top

Asia's Tech News Daily

For Chinonso Offor, the road to Major League Soccer has been anything but straightforward.

Chinonso Offor: The Chicago Fire striker walking an unconventional path to the top
© Provided by 90min Offor has taken an unconventional route to MLS. | Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

There are many well-trodden paths to the United States top-flight; the homegrown system, coming up from South America, and crossing the pond after a long and successful career in Europe are just a few of the most common routes.

But have you ever heard of a player arriving in Chicago from Nigeria, via Northern Cyprus and Latvia? The was the reality faced by Offor, who joined Binatlı Yılmaz – a club not even affiliated with FIFA – back in 2017.

“I was still in high school and at the academy, but they knew I wasn’t going to stay there for long,” Offor recounted to 90min in an exclusive interview. “They wanted to get me some exposure, to travel and experience playing with different people, and get match videos and footage.”

“Chino”, as he’s known to those close to him, was born in the Nigerian Middle Belt town of Jos in May 2000. But after just a year, he and his family had to flee to Ekwulobia in the south-east of the country due to political riots.

Offor’s memories of that time are vague at best, with only some “scavenged” documents and pictures remaining from their bombed-out home. It was in 2012 when his soccer career got going, signing for the Real Sapphire academy in Lagos.

It quickly became clear that Offor was destined for a professional career in the game and, alongside getting exposure, his move to Northern Cyprus facilitated him getting a VISA to play in Europe. Ultimately, he’d end up in Latvia, first at BFC Daugavpils, then joining FK RFS.

“Before I made that move, I had another option of going to Sweden,” Offor revealed. “Obviously, that’s where I wanted to go at that time but I spoke with my manager. We thought Sweden was good, but Latvia is better because I’ll get playing time which will help me quickly get recognised. In Sweden, I’d still have to take some time to adapt.

“So I moved to Latvia, and it was the right option because I had more game time and things went very well for me.”

Indeed, things did go well. During his time in Latvia, Offor managed 16 goals and seven assists in 40 appearances. He also swiftly picked up some valuable fundamentals of the game.

“I had to quickly learn some tactical play, like how they set up from goal kicks,” the 21-year-old said. “Obviously, it was different in Cyprus and in my youth academy. Every bigger country you go to, it’s like another step in terms of knowledge. You have to learn things quickly. It was quite different.”

Ultimately, Offor’s form in the Virsliga started to attract attention from clubs across Europe, as well as the Chicago Fire.

“It wasn’t an easy decision because, at that point in time, I had more offers in Europe from Belgium and Sweden,” Offor said of his 2020 move to the Fire. “MLS actually came out of nowhere, it wasn’t part of our discussion. Then I got a call from my agent asking what I thought of MLS.

“I was shocked. But we thought about it, analyzed it and went from there. The more I dug into it, the more interested I became, I was impressed by the standard of MLS and bought into it.”

So, what exactly was it that stood out about MLS to Offor?

“A big factor behind my Chicago Fire move was the exposure of young talent in MLS these days,” the striker said. “Players like Alphonso Davies going to top leagues. Those were the positives I took and why I wanted to be here. You get one or two good seasons and you move to the best leagues.”

Beautiful counter ?

The turn, the goal, and Chinonso Offor puts this game to rest for #CFFC

— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 8, 2021

Almost a year has gone by since Offor landed in Chicago. Adjusting to the American lifestyle has been simple for a young man who keeps himself to himself, and has been on the move since the age of one. Getting used to new surroundings comes naturally to him now.

On the pitch, he’s managed just one goal and two assists in 32 appearances, but often stands out as one of the Fire’s hardest-working players. The Nigerian has averaged 18.1 pressures per 90 minutes this season – the third-highest amount of any teammate with 1,000+ minutes under their belts. He’s also won a team-high 5.44 aerial duels per 90.

Despite the lack of goals, Offor is pleased with his start to life in MLS and what he’s learned so far.

“I think I’ve adapted quite well,” he replied when asked about is progress in the United States. “I’ve been able to adjust quickly and learn more from the experienced players in the team.”

Of course, being a striker, Offer is well aware of the expectation on him to get on the scoresheet more frequently.

“The only thing left for me to do is score more goals because as a striker, that’s the thing you’re judged by at the end of the day,” he added. “But other than that, I’m happy. We have a few more games left where I’ll try to score, then I’ll continue to work hard on that next season.”

As is the case with many other young players in MLS, the long-term objective is to return to Europe, specifically the “top five” leagues. But in the short-term, goals aside, Offor is dreaming of restoring the Fire as a force to be reckoned with in MLS.

“It’s been a while since the Fire made the playoffs,” Offor said of Chicago’s absence in the post-season for seven of the last eight seasons. He added: “I would like to add that to my list of achievements, I want to go down in the history books with the Chicago Fire, winning a trophy.”

Offor’s career has taken him to strange places but, thus far, he’s broken down every barrier placed before him. You wouldn’t bet against him achieving his next goals and, one day, returning to his European dream.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Real Madrid - Séville : le but exceptionnel de Vinicius en vidéo

Vinicius a offert la victoire au Real Madrid en toute fin de rencontre face à Séville grâce à un but superbe. © Icon Sport Vinicius a inscrit un superbe but ... Read more »

Algérie : le désir de Belmadi entendu, un Fennec proche de rebondir en L1

Alors que Djamel Belmadi regrettait récemment son statut, Zinedine Ferhat pourrait retrouver la Ligue 1 lors du prochain mercato, des équipes se sont déjà positionnées. © Icon Sport Zinedine Ferhat ... Read more »

L1: Marseille bat difficilement Troyes (1-0) à huis clos et recolle au podium

© Nicolas TUCAT Le défenseur espagnol Pol Lirola (à gauche) fixe le gardien de Troyes et ouvre le score pour Marseille au Vélodrome, le 28 novembre 2021 Marseille a peiné ... Read more »

Inter Milan : un cadre des Nerazzurri va être blindé par ses dirigeants !

Un cadre de l’Inter Milan, en fin de contrat à l’issue de la saison, va étendre son bail avec le club lombard ! © Icon Sport Marcelo Brozović va prolonger ... Read more »

Empoli 2-1 Fiorentina: Player grades and 3 things we learned

© Photo by Gabriele Maltinti/Getty Images The aliens got him with the tractor beam. Player grades Pietro Terracciano—4: Nearly had a howler coming way off his line to clear a ... Read more »

Jurgen Klopp's great entertainers put Kop icons in the shade

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo They were streaming for the exits well before the final whistle, in the quick and quiet manner that tells you there has been a ... Read more »

Guardiola praise 'incredible' Manchester City ground staff

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Pep Guardiola lavished praise on Manchester City‘s ground staff after heavy snowfall at the Etihad Stadium.  City’s victory over West Ham was played in ... Read more »

Napoli pays tribute to Maradona, takes outright Serie A lead

MILAN (AP) — Dries Mertens scored twice as Napoli beat Lazio 4-0 on Sunday to take the outright lead of Serie A on the night it paid tribute to soccer ... Read more »

Kerala hope for a new dawn in women's football

© Provided by The Times of India While Kerala have achieved tremendous success in men’s football over the years, the same cannot be said about the women’s game in the ... Read more »

Colchonero Chat: A wise man's tweet

© Photo By Joaquin Corchero/Europa Press via Getty Images Jeremy Beren and Robbie Dunne are back for another transatlantic podcast, this time discussing Atlético Madrid’s 4-1 victory over Cádiz on ... Read more »

Jack Todd: Firings mark the end of a tumultuous 2021 for the Canadiens

© Provided by The Gazette Marc Bergevin’s most notable successes as Habs GM were the playoff run in 2014 and last summer’s run to within three victories of a championship. ... Read more »

The Latest: Bridgewater returns at QB, Broncos lead Chargers

The Latest from Week 12 of the NFL (all times EST): © Provided by The Canadian Press ___ 6:14 p.m. Teddy Bridgewater has returned to the game for the Denver ... Read more »

TikTok's Favorite Shape Tape Concealer Is Part of Ulta's Iconic Beauty Blitz Sale — & You Can Get Free Shipping

© Image: Michael Buckner; Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows. The holiday season is officially here, so it’s time to put on your favorite festive look and put your best (fashionable) foot forward. ... Read more »

National Menorah lighting: Doug Emhoff attends ceremony in DC

Doug Emhoff, husband to Vice President Kamala Harris, lit the first candle of the National Menorah on Sunday for the first night of Hanukkah. © Drew Angerer/Getty Images In this ... Read more »

Bernie Ecclestone leads tributes to the late Sir Frank Williams

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Bernie Ecclestone led the tributes to Sir Frank Williams after his death at the age of 79. Williams, who was wheelchair-bound following a ... Read more »

Fournette scores 4 TDs, Brady rallies Bucs past Indy 38-31

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tom Brady came to Indianapolis in a new uniform. He followed the same old script — turning mistakes into points and leading his team on another decisive ... Read more »

Real Madrid 2-1 Sevilla: Vinicius scored stunning late winner

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Vinicius sent Real Madrid four points clear at the top of La Liga with his best goal of the season so far against ... Read more »

Newton struggles in Panthers' loss at Dolphins

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Cam Newton had just scored a rushing touchdown and was in a celebratory mood. He grabbed the football back from one of his teammates, headed ... Read more »

Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian Jr. wear matching orange dresses

© Provided by Daily Mail MailOnline logo Serena Williams posed for a few snaps with her mini-me Alexis Ohanian Jr. in matching dresses.  The tennis pro, 40, and her daughter, ... Read more »

Is Haller European top? ‘It is right with him at Ajax, never change'

Before the group stage of the Champions League, there were doubts whether Sébastien Haller could handle the level. Now, two and a half months later, Haller is the top scorer ... Read more »

Teyana Taylor Recovering In Hospital After Body ‘Shut Down' Before Show

© Photo: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Teyana Taylor Teyana Taylor was taken to hospital after her body “gave out” right before she was due to perform on stage. The singer took ... Read more »

Win at Holiday Shopping In 2021 With the 40 Best Personalized Gifts

© Courtesy of Amazon How can you ensure you’ll give a gift that’s like nothing they’ve ever received before? That’s easy — make it personalized. Think back to the best gifts you’ve ... Read more »

Giada De Laurentiis' Savory Meatball Recipe is Perfect For a Last-Minute Meal & It Only Takes 20 Minutes

© Elena/Adobe. Design: Ashley Britton/SheKnows. Between work, picking up the kids, cleaning, working out, and everything else on our plates, sometimes, all we want to do is make a quick, ... Read more »

Ticats defence stellar in 23-12 East Division semifinal victory over Montreal

HAMILTON — Brandon Banks and Don Jackson scored touchdowns as an opportunistic Hamilton Tiger-Cats squad defeated the Montreal Alouettes 23-12 in the East Division semifinal on a snowy Sunday afternoon. ... Read more »

Giants' defense smothers Eagles 13-7, gets 3 picks

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — The New York Giants’ defense rose up to intercept Jalen Hurts three times and held Philadelphia to a season-low in points in beating the error-prone ... Read more »

Raptors' Goran Dragic 'taking some time away from the team' to deal with personal matter

The Toronto Raptors announced on Sunday afternoon that guard Goran Dragic will be away from the team for an undetermined amount of time to deal with a personal matter. Goran ... Read more »

Harris commits four turnovers, Alouettes lose East Division semifinal to Tiger-Cats

HAMILTON — The Alouettes were one of the rare teams to win a game at Hamilton in 2021. But their season came to an end because they couldn’t re-enact the ... Read more »

Dolphins have real chance to make playoffs with their schedule

© Provided by Fansided After a dominant win over the Carolina Panthers, the Miami Dolphins look like a team who could sneak into the postseason.  Don’t look now,  but here ... Read more »

Cheeky Joe Buck says Aaron Rodgers ‘had that toe immunized against the pain'

© Provided by Awful Announcing Aaron Rodgers can’t quite keep himself out of the headlines and the Green Bay Packers was back in them this week following COVIDToeGate. On Tuesday, ... Read more »

Watch: Matthew Stafford connects with Van Jefferson for 79-yard TD

© Provided by Rams Wire The Rams could do nothing right on offense during their first three drives, punting it once, losing a fumble and turning it over on downs. ... Read more »

Patriots' David Andrews has hilarious comparison for Kendrick Bourne

© Provided by Patriots Wire The New England Patriots defeated the Tennessee Titans, 36-13, in a home game in Week 12. Wide receiver Kendrick Bourne was a big part of ... Read more »

Kliff Kingsbury a target for Oklahoma's head coaching vacancy

© Provided by Cardinals Wire Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury is a candidate for this year’s coach of the year award in the NFL. He has led the Cardinals ... Read more »

NFL could punish Chase Claypool for dirty facemask penalty

© Provided by Fansided Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Chase Claypool let his frustration get the best of him, with a brutal facemask penalty against the Cincinnati Bengals. Claypool’s intentions on ... Read more »

COVID-19 to have ripple effect on multiple Cowboys coaches for Week 13

© Provided by Cowboys Wire The Cowboys’ roster has been harangued by COVID-19 all season long, with the virus affecting more players in Dallas than any other locker room in ... Read more »

Teddy Bridgewater injured for Broncos, goes to locker room

© Provided by Fansided Denver Broncos quarterback Teddy Bridgewater left the game against the Chargers with a lower leg injury and is questionable to return. The Denver Broncos had to ... Read more »

Rashan Gary strip-sack sets up Aaron Rodgers rushing TD

© Provided by Packers Wire A turnover forced by outside linebacker Rashan Gary step up Aaron Rodgers’ go-ahead touchdown run in the first quarter on Sunday at Lambeau Field. Gary ... Read more »

Texans S Justin Reid 'shocked' he was benched for Week 12 against the Jets

© Provided by Texans Wire texans-justin-reid-shocked-benched-jets The Houston Texans made a surprising decision for Week 12 when they decided to bench safety Justin Reid ahead of their encounter with ... Read more »

Seahawks juggling running backs as injuries continue to mount

© Provided by Seahawks Wire The Seattle Seahawks will be without two more running backs on Monday night against Washington with both Rashaad Penny (hamstring) and Travis Homer (calf) officially ... Read more »

Matt Rhule Announces Decision On Quarterback Cam Newton

© Provided by The Spun Cam Newton with Matt Rhule on the sidelines. Cam Newton had arguably the worst start of his NFL career on Sunday, but he’ll get at ... Read more »

Steelers HC Mike Tomlin entertains idea of roster changes on the lines

© Provided by Steelers Wire If you want to point to one (technically two) area that had the biggest influence on the Pittsburgh Steelers getting boat raced by the Cincinnati ... Read more »
On you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic