By Tyler Trent
Patrick Agyemang with the University of Rhode Island. Photo courtesy of the University of Rhode Island.
Patrick Agyemang was selected 12th overall by Charlotte FC in the 2023 MLS SuperDraft. While Agyemang was a successful college player for Rhode Island, Charlotte trading up for him might have been unexpected for some. Agyemang scored 19 goals and added 12 assists in his 37 college matches with Rhode Island. However, reports indicate he really impressed at the MLS College Showcase before the draft as well. Take a moment to learn about one of Charlotte FC's newest players, his past, his play style, and what to expect this season.
About Patrick Agyemang*
Born to Ghanaian immigrants, Agyemang grew up in Connecticut and started playing soccer around 5 or 6 years old with his two brothers and his father. As a high school player, Agyemang often played as a midfielder in either a 10 or 8 role. In addition to soccer, Patrick was also a volleyball and track athlete in high school.
Agyemang wasn’t highly recruited out of college and ended up playing two years at Division III school, Eastern Connecticut State, mostly as a left winger. During that time he adjusted to the change in quality and speed of play from high school and began to bulk up. In his last season with Eastern Connecticut State, Agyemang was named a Division III All-American.
However, after COVID-19 disrupted the world and college soccer, Agyemang took the chance on a fresh start with the University of Rhode Island. At Rhode Island, his new coaches moved him up top to play as a center forward because of his size and strength. The jump from Division III to Division I soccer was another adjustment period for the young striker, but like before he adjusted and excelled with a strong career at Rhode Island. He was named All-Atlantic 10 twice and finished as the top scorer for his team both seasons. Agyemang was also included on the Mac Hermann Trophy Watch list going into his final season with Rhode Island.
Agyemang continued to get experience playing in USL League 2 with the Western Mass Pioneers. Agyemang was a large part in leading the Pioneers to win their conference and ultimately the USL League 2 semifinals in 2021.
Agyemang with Western Mass Pioneers. Photo courtesy of Western Mass Pioneers.
Agyemang is a religious person and his pre-game routine often includes praying, reading the Bible, and choosing some verses to keep with him throughout the match. Outside of soccer, he plays the piano and goes for walks in his free time.
Agyemang has great physical attributes for a center forward. Standing at 6’4” and around 200 pounds, he has a frame built for strong hold up play, physical battles, and aerial duals. However, while Agyemang does have those characteristics, he is a deceptively strong dribbler. He is strong with the ball at his feet, and capable of taking players on out wide and creating his own chances or providing for his teammates.
Patrick Agyemang goes high up for a header. Photo courtesy of the University of Rhode Island.
Agyemang’s good use of his body combined with quick feet and a strong explosive first step makes him a matchup nightmare for opponents as he is capable of playing in many different ways. Agyemang is good without the ball at his feet as well and makes smart runs to open space for his teammates.
Agyemang prides himself on being strong with both feet, although he is naturally right-footed. His father, a former goalkeeper, gave him the advice to get strong with both feet early on and he would have an immediate advantage against defenders and goalkeepers. In college, Agyemang often drifted outside to the right to take defenders on and was capable of cutting inside and finishing strong with his “weak” left foot. Agyemang has mentioned that he really likes to watch Wilfried Zaha and Ousmane Dembélé as they are players he admires for their quickness and quality with both feet. You can definitely see their playstyle in what Agyemang looks to do on the pitch.
It’s a testament to Agyemang that his mentality is one of his biggest strengths, when he once considered it his biggest weakness, as he used to doubt whether he was good enough. After being counted out multiple times throughout his soccer career so far, he’s now made it as a first-round draft pick. The mentality and hard work to keep pushing and to show what you are capable of is invaluable. The mentality to not sweat the things you can't control and prove those who doubted you wrong is a immense skill in both life and sport. While Agyemang was looked over in high school and while playing Division III soccer by many, he knew he had what it took to improve and reach his goals.
Agyemang celebrates a goal. Photo courtesy of the University of Rhode Island.
It remains to be seen if Agyemang will be a part of Charlotte FC or the newly announced MLS NEXT Pro side, Crown Legacy FC. Charlotte FC currently has a depth chart that includes Enzo Copetti, Vinicius Mello, Karol Świderski, and Andre Shinyashiki who are all capable of playing up front. While Agyemang is a strong prospect with high potential, there's a chance we could see him starting his time with the NEXT Pro side. Crown Legacy FC would provide him a good middle ground between his college career and full MLS physicality and game speed. If Agyemang does end up at Crown Legacy FC, I think we will most likely see him primarily up front as a center forward, but there could be some experimentation with him on the wings as well.
*The information for the "About Patrick Agyemang" section was found on Soccer Bro's 1210 podcast.