Incoming Michigan soccer recruit Umar Farouk Osman earned the Gatorade National Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year award last week. The 5-foot-9 midfielder scored 19 goals and added six assists for his Hotchkiss, Conn. squad.
Osman will be the second member of the Wolverines from both Hotchkiss as well as the second player from Ghana, along with junior midfielder Francis Atuahene. The two played with each other in high school, and Osman is looking forward to joining his fellow Ghanaian once again.
“I knew him way back before we came to the United States,” Osman said. “At Hotchkiss we had a great bond. I always looked up to him and I’d go to him for advice. He’d tell what to do and what not to do.
“I can’t wait to play with him. He’s a very dangerous player with a lot of pace, so I can’t wait to play with him, connect passes with him and run with him.”
Last season, Osman was named the 2016 Connecticut Soccer Coaches Association’s Player of the Year. During the campaign, Osman had a direct hand in 28 of Hotchkiss’ 30 goals. For his career at Hotchkiss, he accumulated 63 goals and 45 assists in total.
Osman aims to attend the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at Michigan because he believes it is one of the best in the world.
Away from the classroom and on the pitch at U-M Soccer Stadium, Osman is excited by Michigan coach Chaka Daley’s style of play. He’s also encouraged by the kind and welcoming atmosphere Daley has fostered in Ann Arbor.
“I like the system he plays with,” Osman said. “He doesn’t just want to attack, attack and attack. He likes to keep the ball, play good soccer and I really like that a lot.”
Within that locker room though, is something else that epitomizes what attracts Osman to Michigan, a sign that led him to commit to the Wolverines. It’s a sign that combines his passion for teamwork and friendliness.
“There’s a writing that says ‘the team, the team, the team’, and it really speaks a lot to me,” Osman said. “Because everything is about the team. It’s not just about the individual. It doesn’t matter how talented you are. You have to put the team ahead of you before you do anything else.”
At Michigan, he’ll look to take those lessons on the field in order to help a team that finished with just four wins last season.
With Atuahene by his side and Daley advising from afar, Osman looks like he could be in the right place.