Loudoun United continues to bulk up their roster, announcing four more roster signings Friday afternoon, bulking up mostly in attack.
First, the rumored acquisition of winger Darluis Paz on loan from Deportivo La Guaira in Venezuela’s Primera Division with an option to buy. First reported by TUDN reporter Daniel Nohra, Paz (who turns 19 next month) plays can play numerous positions but primarily spends time on the left side of midfield. Paz has spent his first three professional seasons with Las Naranjas, amassing 8 starts within 18 total appearances, scoring one goal and two assists for the team, who recently secured their first title in the Primera at the end of the 2020 season.
Like Ivory Coast international Gaoussou Samake last week, Paz proves to be another interesting signing. Paz also appeared in the Sudamericano U17 Championships in 2019, registering an assist over four games for the Vinotinto. In a recent interview, Loudoun coach Ryan Martin outlined his thoughts of Paz’ role and possibility within the organization:
Q: How did Paz come to your attention & what are your long term plans for him?— FUTVE English (@FUTVEEnglish) February 16, 2021
A: We have various scouts in South America who came across him and suggested him as a young player with potential to play for @DCUnited in time. pic.twitter.com/35G6W9jFJ9
We’d like to thank @rpmartin10 for his time and look forward to welcoming him on The FUTVE English Podcast later in the year to discuss what will hopefully be a successful season for @LoudounUnitedFC, @DCUnited, and Darluis Paz. pic.twitter.com/PpXZMfxqiz— FUTVE English (@FUTVEEnglish) February 16, 2021
Next is goalkeeper Jermaine Fordah. The 27-year-old was a product of the Luton Town Academy before moving to America and appeared with AC Connecticut and the New York Cosmos B before signing to play with El Paso Locomotive FC, playing in two games and recording a clean sheet. Fordah’s presumed role is to vie for backup minutes with Keegan Meyer when Jon Kempin is loaned from D.C. United.
Third is Baraktulla (Barry) Sharifi. The 23-year-old midfielder was a college teammate of Loudoun forward Joshua Fawole at Loyola University and like Fawole, was also drafted at the 2020 MLS Superdraft, in the third round by the New York Red Bulls. Sharifi appeared in 11 games (starting 8), and though he was kept off the scoresheet his 9 created chances in 2020 would have placed him third amongst Loudoun players.
Last is Nanan (Landry) Houssou, on loan from AS Indenié Abengourou in the Ivory Coast. The 20-year-old midfielder scored seven goals and 16 assists in the 2019-20 season with ASI, and is projected as a box-to-box midfielder in comments made by Ryan Martin announcing the move.
The latest round of signings brings Loudoun up to 16 total, 6 of whom are international players (USL Championship teams are allotted 7 tradeable international roster spots each).