US-born keeper claims MLS playoff stops him from U23 AFCON

Naija Players Abroad By: Ikponmwosa Umweni | 06/11/2019

US-born goalkeeper Philip Ejimadu claimed Major League Soccer (MLS) playoff stops him from participating in the 2019 U23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

The 20-year-old Los Angeles FC highly-rated shot-stopper was included MLS Cup playoff which could no see him could not participate the tournament for Olympics Eagles after U23 national team coach Imama Amapakabo was communicating with the giant goalkeeper on the possibility of him coming to camp but his club did not subscribe to him leaving because they will get involved in.

Ejimadu said via SCORENigeria hopes he will get a chance to play at next year’s Tokyo Olympics should Nigeria qualify.

"I talked with the Nigeria U23 coach after I was scouted for the team. He was ready to give me invitation to come to camp for them to see me and possibly go to AFCON U23, but unfortunately my club Los Angeles FC said no because we are to play in the MLS playoff.

"The coaches said I have to be part of the team for the playoff in case there is card or injury to one of the goalkeepers ahead of me in the team.

"I am very delighted I got such an opportunity to represent my country. I am praying they get the Olympic ticket so I can get another chance.”

Ejimadu born to Nigerian father and Brazilian mother in Minnesota, USA, played for Nacional Atletico Clube in Sao Paolo, Brazil, before he joined Los Angeles FC but he loans out to FC Tucson he has outstanding for FC Tucson, where he played on loan this season.

He won three caps for USA U23 national team in 2018.