One of the brightest stars for the Dayton men’s soccer team is junior midfielder Kingsford Adjei. While he’s made himself right at home at the Ohio school, Adjei is far away from where he grew up.
Adjei is a product of the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana, which has also produced professional players like David Accam, Emmanuel Boateng, and Joshua Yaro. “Right to Dream is everything to me to be honest,” Adjei told BGN. “Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today, they literally shaped my talent, education and character in the best way possible.”
“There’s a lot of young talented kids in Ghana but the opportunities are very few which makes it hard for most of these amazing kids to reach their fullest potential. As I see it, that’s why it means everything to them to get a way through that first barrier. Most of these young boys and girls are constantly on their grind to find a place like Right to Dream.”
Talking about his home country, Adjei said, “Ghana is special in so many ways but what stands out for me is how well they treat foreigners; they have a lot of love and respect for foreigners. It’s also the most peaceful place you could live and you don’t have to worry about violence. Oh, and we got the best food! You got to try it people.”
Kingsford’s path took him from the country in West Africa to the United Kingdom, then to the United States, where he started his college career at Quincy University. “Going to Quincy wasn’t about staying there for the whole time,” he said. “I already had a plan and the coach knew that I would be leaving after the season. Upon NCAA rules I had to do a year at a D2 college coming from the UK before I could move to a D1. Thanks to Coach Carpenter who agreed on this term to allow this process to happen. Not everyone would do it as far as I am concerned.”
After his lone season at Quincy, where he finished with nine goals and two assists, Kingsford moved on to the University of Dayton and became an instant gamechanger for the Flyers. In 2019, he scored 11 goals and added five assists, earning a place on the A-10 First Team and was named A-10 Midfielder of the Year.
“Yeah, my first season was good for sure, however I believe I could’ve done more if it wasn’t due to injury that I missed half of the season,” Adjei explained. He added that the good start definitely boosted his confidence, but that he’s always confident regardless because he always believes in himself.
Between the end of the 2019 season and the start to this season, Adjei was putting in the work to build on that success from 2019. He said, “I worked on a lot of things but fitness and my physique is something focused on the most as we barely practiced. I had to be ready at any moment fitness wise and physically I had to be in shape which would allow me to do what I do best on the field.”
Following that lengthy layoff, Dayton started the season with three straight losses. Then, they went unbeaten in their next three fixtures to put their record at 2-3-1 in 2021. “I mean, it’s always a new challenge with new faces in the team,” Adjei said. “But I’m really confident we’ll turn things around. If we are willing to give everything every game like our previous fixtures, we’ll always be the best team in the conference.”
Adjei has started all six matches thus far and has three goals and one assist. His two-goal performance in Dayton’s win over Duquesne saw him named Ohio’s College Advantage Student-Athlete of the Week.
— Dayton Men’s Soccer (@DaytonMSoccer) February 28, 2021
Discussing how he can personally help his team even more, Kingsford said, “Helping the team comes down to leading by example, and I take every game as my last so I hope it gives my teammates the confidence to be themselves and give everything, too.”
“I love to win and compete and if you watch our games you would know. I believe that’s the best way to help the team, the willingness to be a fighter and keep believing when things look rough.”
Adjei and the Flyers will have the chance to get to .500 and sweep the season series vs. Duquesne tomorrow.