Ghanaian midfielder Mohammed Abu has joined Norwegian first-division club Valerenga on a season-long pending receipt of his P-1 visa, Columbus Crew SC announced Friday.
The 26-year-old midfielder, who joined MSL side Columbus Crew before the 2017 season after a stint with Stromsgodset in Norway’s first division, made 20 appearances last season but has been on the field for a total of only 93 minutes in 2018.
With the continued health and relatively strong performance of Wil Trapp and Artur in the central midfield, as well as the addition of Ricardo Clark as a steady No. 3 option, Abu’s playing time has dried up.
Coach Gregg Berhalter first indicated Thursday that Abu was set to go on loan. While he did not reveal Valerenga as the team, he said the move was intended to continue Abu’s development and get the Ghanaian midfielder game experience. The Norwegian league is more than halfway through its schedule, which runs through November.
“Mohammed is a quality player, and this decision was made in an effort to get him the minutes to continue his development,” said Sporting Director and Head Coach “We believe that playing for Valerenga provides Mohammed with valuable match action that will allow him to grow as a player.” said Gregg Berhalter.
He added “This is what he expressed — the need to play games to keep his development there — and we were able to accommodate that in getting him to a good level,” Berhalter said Thursday.