Thursday, April 12, 2007

Charlotte Eagles Sign Former Metro, Nelson Akwari

Anybody who knows me understands that I love to know what former MetroStars/Red Bull players are up to. So get used to seeing something on here everytime I hear of one of the near 200 players making a move.

Today, former Project-40/MetroStars defender Nelson Akwari signed with USL2's Charlotte Eagles. He joins former MetroStars #1 Draft Pick, Steve Shak.

Akwari joined the MetroStars in a weighted lottery on August 12th, 2002. To make room for Akwari the team waived Dustin Sheppard. Akwari was performing with the US U23's at the time. Akwari played in 7 games with the MetroStars, starting just 3. His debut was in an exhibition against Chivas where he recorded an assist.

In 2003, he was traded to Columbus along with the MetroStars 2nd round draft pick in 2004 in exchange for the 17th pick overall in the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. The Metros used that pick on current Red Bull player, Tim Regan.

Akwari struggled to blossum into a talented defender for the Crew and did not consistently see action. The Crew then lost Akwari to Real Salt Lake in the expansion draft in 2005. With Real, Akwari started to find a home in the back and looked to secure a starting spot heading into 2006 after a groin injury halted his most succesful campaign towards the end of the season. He got his chance to make a comeback three games into the 2006 season but it wasn't enough to earn a permanent spot as he only ended up playing in 18 games. In the 2007 preseason, Real Salt Lake coach deemed Akwari unworthy of a spot with the team and waived him.

Best of luck to Akwari! His career went from a potential candidate for the USMNT to starting in just over half a MLS team's games in one season down to USL2 the next season.

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