By Roland Mulbah
The Coach of the senior national team of Liberia, Lone Star, James Salinsa Debbah has informed authorities of the Liberia Football Association (LFA) that he wants almost all his squad members to be foreign based players for the match against Tunisia on September 5, 2015 in the second match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
According to information gathered, Debbah has already submitted a list of 22 players which includes more than 18 foreign based players.
The Inquirer Newspaper profiled few of the foreign based players for the crucial match against Tunisia on September 5, 2015 in continuation of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier.
Sam Johnson (born 6 May 1993) is a Liberian footballer who plays for Djurgårdens IF in the Swedish topflight as a forward.
He started out playing for Nimba FC in his homeland Liberia before traveling to Norway in 2011 on trial with FK Haugesund. He impressed the Norwegian club, but only enough for them to offer him a youth contract, so he instead signed with Swedish club Dalkurd FF. He would however only stay there for a couple of months due to work permit problems. Johnson remained in Sweden though and played for fourth tier club Assyriska IF KF during the second half of the 2011 season.
For the first half of the following season, the youthful Liberian stepped down one division and played for fifth tier club Juventus IF before once again returning to the fourth tier when playing for Härnösands FF during the fall. After the season he was awarded the title of “best midfielder” in the league Härnösand played in.
Before the 2013 season, Johnson went on trial with second tier Superettan club JönköpingsSödra IF, but was turned down instead he signed a three year deal with third tier club IK Frej. In his second season with them, Johnson, who was now playing as forward, became their top goal scorer as the club was promoted to Superettan. In December 2014, Allsvenskan club Djurgårdens IF announced that they had signed Johnson on a four year deal.
Johnson played with the Liberia U23 National Team in 2011 and made his official senior debut on June 14, 2015 in a 2-1 defeat to the Sparrow Hawks of Togo in the opening match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier under James SalinsaDebbah as head coach.
The “Little” ZahRahanKrangar (Felda United FC, Malaysia)
ZahRahanKrangar (born on March 7, 1984 in Monrovia) is a Liberian footballer (midfielder) currently playing for Felda United FC in the Malaysian Super League. The calm and soft spoken master dribbler is also a member of the senior national football team of Liberia, Lone Star.
He made his international debut September 3 2006 with a goal away to host Equatorial Guinea in his side 2-1 loss.
He is a player with immense qualities. His sublimes skills, vision and tricks are qualities that make him a nightmare for opposing defenders and asset to teammates.
He featured as a kid for the national U-13, U-14 and U-15 which made headways in the ScandanaviaFater making in-roads in the Gothia and Dana Cups in Sweden and Denmark respectively.
The lad was voted Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the LFA Third Division playoffs after his side Ducor Defenders pinned Gardnersville based Haja FC in the grand final, courtesy of the golden goal rule in 2000.
He along with long-time friend and International teammate Dioh Williams had a stint in Switzerland with cadet side Juventus.
He as well had a stint at the youth system of Ghanaian elite side AsantiKotoko widely known as the Porcupine Warriors with the famous saying “you kill thousand, thousand will come”.
His hunger for topflight football took him to Cameroun where he styled for Racing Baffoson of Bamenda in the Cameroonian topflight and also showcased his talent with Panthere of the same central African country.
The skill workshop then moved to Indonesia and impressed at Persikabpas and despite repeated calls by that country’s football authorities to naturalize him due to his dazzling skills and constant knack for goals, he turned down such a lucrative offer and chose to doom the red, white and blue colours of his country and marked his international debut with a goal away to host Equatorial Guinea in his side 2-1 loss.
Voted MVP in the Indonesian top flight in 2006, the tiny but silky footballer is indeed a formidable face on television, in newspapers, magazines and his name is a house hold word in many quarters as far as football in Asia, especially the World largest Muslim state, Indonesia.
Despite plying his trade in what is generally regarded as a modest or less fancy league, Zah, the “Little box of tricks” is one of few players the future of the National team of Liberia, Lone Star precariously rest upon.
With the factual thought that “where one plays matters, but what one plays matters most, and it does not matter where one plays but what one plays, Zah, though in the virtually less glamorous league of Malaysia, his competitors and even the most unrealistic of critics can safely say he is a gem and is certainly a class act who is capable of conjuring and wooing any group of fans or international skills with his sublimely gifted qualities.
He captained the national team of Liberia on June 14, 2015 in a 2-1 defeat to the Sparrow Hawks of Togo in the opening match of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier under James SalinsaDebbah as head coach. Honours
Liga Indonesia (1): 2007–08
Piala Indonesia (3): 2007–08, 2008–09, 2010
Indonesia Super League (1): 2010–11
Indonesian Inter Island Cup (1): 2011
Indonesia Super League (2): 2012–13
Liga Indonesia Best player (1): 2007–08