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Last Updated: Monday, 26 April, 2004, 14:24 GMT 15:24 UK
Africans star in the US
The United States' Major League Soccer is a month into its ninth season and BBC Sport looks at the nine African players playing in this year's championship.

As well as the nine African stars there is also the Ghanaian-born youngster Freddy Adu, who is the league's highest paid player.

In recent years football in the US has struggled to compete with the likes of American football, basketball and ice hockey but it seems Adu could be helping to change that with fans filling stadiums every time he plays.

BBC Sport profiles the nine African players currently playing in the MLS.

Sumed Ibrahim

Ghana and Chicago Fire player Sumed Ibrahim
Ghana's Sumed Ibrahim is playing for Chicago Fire in the MLS

Another Ghanaian making his debut in the MLS is Sumed Ibrahim, who was picked by the Chicago Fire after a successful college career at the University of Maryland, where he was rated one of the best players in America.

The 23-year-old Ghana forward played for the Chesapeake Dragons in the United States Premier Developmental league during the 2001 season.

He also helped his secondary school in Kentucky win the national championships in 1997, where he also starred in the basketball team.

Joseph Ngwenya

Zimbabwe's Joseph Ngwenya is also making his debut in the MLS for the Los Angeles Galaxy who have very high hopes of him after he was the third player selected in the 2004 draft in February.

Fresh from Coastal Carolina University the 23-year-old enters the MLS with an impressive record having dominated the collegiate league in America where he was the top scorer for the past two years.

He capped his final year at college with several awards including the Most Valuable Player at the Big South Tournament as well as the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the year as well as their player of the year.

Nkosinathi Nhleko

South Africa and Los Angeles Galaxy Nkosinathi Nhleko
South Africa's Nkosinathi Nhleko is with the Los Angeles Galaxy

Dallas Burn were delighted to retain the services of South Africa's Nkosinathi 'The Lion' Nhleko, who despite playing only 11 matches last season was their third joint top scorer.

The 25 year-old striker has also played for SK Brann in Norway, where he appeared in two UEFA Cup matches, and Jomo Cosmos in his native South Africa.

He was in the Bafana Bafana squad that played the 2004 African Cup of Nations finals in Tunisia and played in the group match against Morocco that ended in 1-1 draw.

Stephen Armstrong
Stephen Armstrong also from South Africa is in his third season with Kansas City Wizards.

Armstrong is currently recovering from a knee injury and the Wizards will be missing his consistent contributions and his ability to set up goals for the team.

He made his professional debut in 2000 when playing for Vastra Frolunda in the Swedish first division and has also had spell with English first division side Watford.

His international experience has so far been limited to the South African under-23 team.

Dipsy Selolwane

Botswana and Chicago Fire's Dipsy Selolwane
Botswana's Dispy Selolwane trying to establish himself at Chicago Fire

Botswana striker Dipsy Selolwane is also at the Chicago Fire but has struggled to establish himself in the team.

The 26-year-old has however made some vital contributions in the few games that he has played and the news from the club is that the player is improving which means that he could get some more time on the pitch this season.

Selolwane is however an established international for Botswana having played 17 times for his country and weighed in with five goals.

He has also had experience in Europe having played for Vejle Boldklub in the Danish Super League in 2002 before moving to America.

Zizi Roberts

The most experienced African in the MLS is Liberia's Zizi Roberts who plays for the Colorado Rapids, having played in Europe for eight years with the likes of AC Milan of Italy and Olympiakos of Greece.

His coaches at the Rapids say that the Liberian international is providing the perfect foil for the sides strikers and has impressed with several skilful displays since he joined the team last season.

Roberts is also an experienced international having played for the Lone Stars at their first ever African Cup of Nations finals in South Africa in 1996.

Daouda Kante

Mali and New England Revolution's Daouda Kante
Mali's Daouda Kante a key defender for New England Revolution

Mali's Daouda Kante is now playing in his third season for the New England Revolution.

At nearly 6ft 2in (1m 88cm) the Malian provides a commanding presence in the Revolution's defence.

Kante was originally drafted in 2001 from The Virginia Beach Mariners, who play in the MLS feeder A-League, into the now defunct Miami Fusion side.

However he opted to remain in college to complete his studies in international business and international relations, which he hopes to use in a future career in diplomacy and government.

Tenywa Bonesu
Uganda defender Tenywa Bonesu is now with his fourth MLS team, the MetroStars.

The player nicknamed T-bone has already played for Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew and Dallas Burn and is a regular for Uganda.

Bonesu was voted the Burn's defensive player of the year in 2002 and was a regular starter for his clubs over the last three years.



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