Ghanaian youngster Abu Danladi has been awarded the National Boys Soccer Player of the Year in the United States of America.
The Right to Dream Academy graduate who is now a student of the Dunn School in Los Olivos, California was selected from more than 400,000 high school boys’ soccer players nationwide by a national advisory panel, comprised of sport-specific experts and sports journalists.
He was presented with the award by ex MLS star Alecko Eskandarian in a surprise presentation at his school.
The award, which is in its 29th year, recognises outstanding athletic excellence and high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated both on and off the field of play.
Danladi becomes the second Right to Dream Academy graduate to win the award in the last three years - following in the footsteps of Ema Boateng, who won the award in 2011-12 while schooling at the Cate School, CA.
He has scored 25 goals and provided 15 assists this past season, leading the Dunn Schools Boys’ team to the Southern Section Division VI Tournament.
The excited Danladi reflected on his impressive exploits in the US which has now been recognized with the award.
“Winning this award was huge for me,” he said.
“It’s a moment I will never forget ever in my life. Being surprised by an American soccer legend in my classroom was awesome and it made feel like everything I started from day one of my life has led to this great moment.
“It’s an amazing award and I am very happy that I have been recognised not only as a soccer player but also as a person with good personality.”
The 18-year-old graduated from the Right to Dream Academy in 2011 and joined the Dunn School on a student-athlete scholarship.
He has made a great impression on and off the pitch and had interest from a number of top universities, and eventually chose UCLA.