I am happy to see that the Fédération Ivoirienne de Football has decided to place all 14 teams in one group. Last season, the 14 teams were divided into two groups, meaning that the teams that did not reach the final stage played only 12 matches. This season, all teams will play 26 matches.
In this post, I will present player information from the various teams:
ASI is a frustrating team to follow as it is almost impossible to find information about their players. Last season, midfielder Lamoudja Traoré (born 20.12.1987) and attacker Koffi Blaise Tanoh (born 03.04.1982) were key players. In July 2012, after the season, a player called Abdoulaye Konaté was included in the squad of the Ivory Coast U-20 national football team.
AFAD looks strong and has signed some interesting players. Salif Coulibaly, who played for SO Armée last season, is one of the most promising left-backs in the Ivory Coast. Davis Donald Kodia has made a surprise move from champions Séwé Sport. Kodia is a powerful central defender with a bright future. Coulibaly and Kodia are both part of the Ivory Coast U-20 national football team. Zahui Okou (born 11.06.1988), comfortable as left-back or centre-back, is an experienced defender who played 18 matches (one goal) for ASEC Mimosas last season. Okou, who captained ASEC in certain matches, is a brilliant signing for AFAD. Petit midfielder Arnaud Seka (born 30.10.1985), joins from Tonnerre d’Abomey FC. Seka, a full international player for Benin, is apparently only 155 centimeters tall. Despite his lack of height, Seka is a wonderful player with tremendous technique and ball control. A lot is expected from Mamadou Soro, a new striker from Mali. Last season, AFAD often used star player Yannick Zakri (born 26.03.1991) as a centre-forward, even though he is more effective when he can attack from the flanks. Fans of AFAD hope the acquisition of Soro allows Zakri to return to his favourite role.
Guy Bedi (born 20.12.1995) played four matches for the Ivory Coast U-17 national football team during the 2011 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Mexico. The promising attacker, who has yet to turn 17, is now part of the first team squad of AFAD.
I expect the following players to be key players this season: goalkeeper Clovis Tahourou (born 25.12.1989), left-back Henri Joël Kouadio Konan (born 20.10.1993), right-back / right-winger Kouakou Mansou (born 10.05.1991), central midfielder Sanga Topio Coulibaly (born 17.08.1988), midfielder Souleymane Ouattara (born 11.02.1990), attacking midfielder Cheick Moukoro (born 12.06.1991) and the mentioned Zakri.
Kodia, Kouadio Konan and Coulibaly were all named in the “Equipe type” (“Team of the Season”) from the Ivorian Ligue 1 2012, according to the Fédération Ivoirienne de Football: http://www.fif-ci.com/CI/actus-Zougoula-Ballon-d-Or-le-Sewe-raffle-tout–6041.do
Goalkeeper Tahourou won a nomination for the Fédération Ivoirienne de Football “Meilleur gardien-award.
AFAD has lost several quality players. Talented central defender Brahima Bakayoko has joined Moroccan side OC Khouribga while playmaker Bobley Anderson Allegne joined Wydad Casablanca, also from Morocco. Both players will be missed.
The full squad of AFAD can be found here: http://www.afad.ci/Le-nouvel-effectif-des-Acadmiciens-prsent-la-presse-a_afad-165.html.
The picture is of Coulibaly and was found on afad.ci.
Africa Sports had a terrible time last season and have recently lost star player Tiémoko Konaté to AC Sparta Praha from the Czech Republic. Captain Dalla Coulibaly has apparently travelled to Gabon and joined Missile FC, while experienced striker Goué Blagnon and Nigerian striker Patrick Friday Eze have apparently left the club. Talented goalkeeper Christian Fabrice Okoua (born 06.11.1991), defenders Konan Ruffin N’Gouan (born 15.05.1990) and Kouassi Nicaise N’Goran (born 08.02.1988), and star striker Koffi Kan Tobie Olie (born 22.09.1984) will be key players this season.
Check out the excellent Facebook-page of Africa Sports:
I expect playmaker Simon Kangoh and talented striker Jacob Philippe Okan Agoussi (born 23.12.1995) to stand out during the up-coming season.
After the disappointing 2012-season, ASEC has made several changes to their team.
Foba Kabran Stevens Koffi (born 12.08.1989), often referred to as “Bibiche”, was brilliant for champions Séwé Sport last season. The petit playmaker, sometimes found on the left-wing or as a regular striker, played for ASEC in 2007 and 2009 but never cemented his place in the team. Koffi returns to ASEC to show the club that they never should have let him go. Koffi joins together with teammate Mahan Marc Goua (born 02.11.1989), a rock-steady right-back.
Central defender Bangaly Soumahoro (born 18.07.1991), formerly of AFAD, joins ASEC after a stint in Romania with CSM Valcea.
Bernard Arthur (born 10.08.1994), a striker from Ghana, joins from the Feyenoord Academy. Arthur, a promising attacker, has been part of the Ghana U-20 national football team during the season. More information can be found here: http://www.scouting-team.com/players/player/2409
Apparently, two other players from the Feyenoord Academy have joined ASEC, namely midfielder Mohamed Amadou (born 19.05.1994) from Niger, also known as “Mohamed Wonkoye”, and midfielder Yannick Mouen (born 07.04.1993). Some of Mouen’s qualities can be viewed in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYXvpbcI0kc.
I have also read that ASEC has signed Nabi Koné, a defender who captained ES Bingerville last season and goalkeeper Mohamed Siby (born 19.11.1987), formerly of ASC Ouragahio. Talented left-back Brahima Kalil Touré has apparently returned from a loan at Stella Club d’Adjamé.
Right-back Yao Yves Ablakor (born 03.05.1992), centre-back Robert Sankara (born 18.02.1985), a full international player from Burkina Faso, and midfielder Jean Michael Séry (born 19.07.1991) were all named in the “Equipe type” (“Team of the Season”) from the Ivorian Ligue 1 2012. Séry also won a nomination for the “Meilleur joueur-award”.
It’s difficult to find information about new signings at USC Bassam. However; some of the retained players are pure quality. In Hamed Coulibaly (born 14.02.1984), USC Bassam has one of the best goalkeepers in the country. After last season, Coulibaly won a nomination for the “Meilleur gardien-award”. Ghanaian striker Edem Kouamé Akrofi (born 18.07.1990) was named in the “Equipe type” (“Team of the Season”) from the Ivorian Ligue 1 2012. As far as I know, Akrofi’s attacking partner Louis Philippe Anobile (born 16.11.1989) is still with the club. Top midfielder Mohamed Ibrahim Diaby has travelled to Morocco and joined Difaa El Jadida.
Important striker Jean Iméré Yao Krizo has left ESB and joined Hassania d’Agadir (Morocco). Watch out for Inza Diabaté (born 20.05.1992).
AS DENGUÉLÉ D’ODIENNÉ
As far as I know, Zoumana Koné (born 27.10.1991) is still leading the attack of AS Denguélé.
Star player Moryké Fofana (born 23.11.1991) has joined Norwegian top level side Lillestrøm SK.
He made his debut against Sogndal Fotball on 07.10.2012.
Dosso Gouaméné scored the goal when EFYM played 1-1 against Jeunesse d’Abidjan on 02.11.2012.
SC Gagnoa is one of the newly promoted clubs. After last season, Lébé Gnahoua, formerly of Africa Sports, was the top striker at the club. Gnahoua won a nomination for the Ligue 2 “Meilleur joueur-award”, together with Guillaume Yao Kouadio. Goalkeeper Ladji Karamoko won the “Meilleur gardien-award”.
Nigerian midfielder Michael Ogundina (born 06.07.1984) scored the goal when Jeunesse d’Abidjan played 1-1 against EFYM on 02.11.2012. Strongman Bommanin Peggy Kohouo will most likely lead the attack of JCA-T. Kohouo scored six goals lasts season.
CO Korhogo is a newly promoted team. According to Fédération Ivoirienne de Football, Issa Sanogo was the best player of the 2012 Ligue 2. Goalkeeper Rahim Koussoubé won a nomination for the “Meilleur gardien-award”.
Champions Séwé Sport has lost several key players and I have so far only been able to find information about four new players: goalkeeper Jean Vincent Ahouchi Aké from Africa Sports, defender Mathias Kassi Akesse (born 21.02.1982), formerly of JCA-T, Cédric Fortune Kouadio N’Goran, formerly of EFYM and midfielder Koffi Christian Raoul Kouamé, formerly of Africa Sports. Nevertheless, Séwé Sport looks strong. The club demolished Stella Club d’Adjamé 4-0 in the so-called “Supercoupe” in October. Goalkeeper Guelassiognon Sylvain Gbohouo won the “Meilleur gardien-award” after last season, while speedy striker Koelly Kevin Zougoula (born 20.03.1984) won the “Meilleur joueur-award” and the top scorer award. Gbohouo, Zougoula, left-winger Roger Assalé (born 13.11.1993) and right-winger Mandela Ocansey (born 02.02.1990) from Burkina Faso, were all included in the “Equipe type” (“Team of the Season”) from the Ivorian Ligue 1 2012.
Assalé, who is part of the Ivory Coast U-20 national football team, scored two goals against Stella in the “Supercoupe” and I predict a great season for the youngster, formerly of SO Armée.
STELLA CLUB D’ADJAMÉ
As far as I know, centre-forward Samba Diabaté (born 31.01.1986), who played 19 matches and scored six goals for ASEC Mimosas last season, has returned to Stella Club. Arsène Adom (born 28.12.1989), a left-winger, also returns to Stella Club after 11 matches (1 goal) for ASEC last season.
Defender Lamine Sogodogo (born 17.12.1987), formerly of SO Armée and ASEC, is a great acquisition.
Stella has signed a new player called “Wasiru Wassio” who I am currently trying to find more information about.