New Loudoun United FC goalkeeper Jermaine Fordah spent the past two seasons with the Championship's El Paso Locomotive FC. | Photo courtesy Ivan Pierre Aguirre / El Paso Locomotive FC
LEESBURG, Va. – Loudoun United FC announced on Friday the arrival of four new players for the upcoming 2021 USL Championship season, signing goalkeeper Jermaine Fordah, winger Darluis Paz and midfielder Baraktulla Sharifi while also acquiring Nanan Houssou on loan from ASI Abengourou in the Cote D’Ivoire. The signings are pending league and federation approval.
Fordah most recently saw action with fellow Championship side El Paso Locomotive FC, where he made a pair of appearances as back-up to Logan Ketterer. A product of EFL Championship club Luton Town’s academy, the England native competed for USL League Two side AC Connecticut in USL League Two during the 2017 season before breaking through with El Paso two years ago in the professional ranks.
“Jermaine will add some important experience and depth at goalkeeper for Loudoun United this season,” said Loudoun Head Coach Ryan Martin. “He has played at a variety of professional levels during his career and we’re looking forward to adding his leadership to the roster”
A native of Venezuela, Paz has played for Deportivo La Guaira FC in the Venezuelan Primera División since signing with the club in 2018 at just 16 years old. The winger played in 12 matches with the club and scored one goal and recorded two assists. Paz also has experience at the international level, playing four matches with the Venezuela U-17 team at the South American Championship in 2019. He started all four matches for Venezuela and contributed an assist during the tournament.
“Darluis is a young and extremely talented winger who already has professional experience at 18-years-old,” said Martin. “He has a lot of potential with a high-ceiling for success and we’re looking forward to him making an immediate impact on the field in 2021.”
Sharifi, a Jericho, N.Y. native, played collegiate soccer at Loyola, Maryland, where he scored 19 goals in 71 appearances from 2016-2019. The central midfielder was selected by the New York Red Bulls with the 67th overall pick in the 2020 MLS SuperDraft and spent the 2020 season playing with New York Red Bulls II in the USL Championship. He appeared in 11 matches in the 2020 season with the Red Bulls II.
“We are very familiar with Sharifi after playing New York Red Bulls II twice in 2020,” said Martin. “He has the ability to create goal scoring opportunities but also is committed on the defensive side. Sharifi is another young player with high potential and we’re looking forward to his contributions in 2021.”
Houssou joins Loudoun United FC on loan from ASI D'Abengourou from the First Division in the Cote D’Ivoire. The 20-year-old scored seven goals and recorded 16 assists in 20 appearances for ASI in the 2019-2020 season. Houssou also represented the U-20 Ivory Coast National Team in 2019.
“Nanan is another promising young player with a ton of potential,” said Martin. “He is a powerful and athletic box-to-box midfielder who has the ability to both create and score goals. He will be an exciting player to watch in 2021 and we’re looking forward to having him on the team.”