Sports Features Fri, 13 May 2016

Speedster Dominic Oduro enjoys life in fast lane with

The Impact's Dominic Oduro is a tough guy to catch, whether he's on or off the soccer pitch.

Following practice Thursday, teammate Didier Drogba was jogging around the team's practice facility after working out by himself.

"Too slow ... too slow," Oduro said to Drogba as he jogged past, getting himself ready in his own way for Saturday's game against the Philadelphia Union at Saputo Stadium (5 p.m., TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, RDS, TSN Radio 690).

Could Drogba beat Oduro in a race?

"It's never going to happen," Oduro said with a smile. "Nobody can beat me in a race in MLS. That's a fact."

He's not lying. In fact, Oduro is one of the fastest players in the entire soccer world. In the player ratings for the FIFA 2016 EA Sports video game, the Impact forward from Ghana is ranked No. 8 behind England's Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Germany's Matthis Bolly (Fortuna Dusseldorf), Germany's Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Borussia Dortmund), Norway's Ernest Asante (Stabaek), Mexico's Jurgen Damm (Tigres UANL), Spain's Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) and Italy's Jonathan Biabiany (Inter Milan).


That's some pretty impressive - and fast - company.

Off the pitch, Oduro is just as fast, driving around Montreal in a black Camaro with some nice-looking mag wheels.

"If you're fast, you have to buy a car that suits the way you are," Oduro said. "I fell in love with the Camaro when I was in Houston. It's kind of the way I play, so why not?"

The car definitely suits Oduro since they are both built for power and speed.

Oduro showed off his 6-foot, 160-pound physique after scoring the tying goal in extra time Saturday night in Columbus as the Impact rallied from a 4-1 second-half deficit to steal a point in the standings with a 4-4 tie and remain in first place in the Eastern Conference with a 4-3-3 record, one point ahead of Philadelphia and Toronto. To celebrate, Oduro ripped off his No. 7 jersey before doing a little dance and then hugging his teammates.

"I think I was just really excited," Oduro said about his mini striptease act. "We came back from a 4-1 deficit and it was against my former team. It was just like an exclamation mark. I wasn't even thinking of doing that ... I was just really excited."


When you're built like Oduro - whose body fat has been measured at between 2.5 and 3 per cent - taking off your shirt will definitely get some attention. For the average man between age 20 and 40, 10 to 20 per cent body fat is generally considered good to excellent.

Oduro, 30, says his physique comes from a lot of time spent in the gym and being blessed with a fast metabolism, which allows him to eat a lot of pizza.

If you're on a diet, you might want to hit him.

The Impact is Oduro's seventh team in MLS after stops in Dallas, New York, Houston, Chicago, Columbus and Toronto. Montreal acquired him from Toronto FC in January 2015 in exchange for allocation money.

When asked after Thursday's practice what he likes most about Montreal, Oduro said: "I'll tell you what

I don't like ... just the weather. Other than that this city is fantastic."


Oduro is the most free-spirited player on the Impact with his dreadlock/mohawk hairstyle, which he dyes different colours for games, and a big personality to go with it.

"You have to take him with a grain of salt," Impact goalkeeper Evan Bush said. "Sometimes you have to kind of give it back to him a bit because there's going to be a banter. But he's a good guy to have around, for sure.

"He's scoring goals and finding ways to make an impact. I think he's been one of the most consistent players on our team this year."

Oduro has four goals this season to rank second on the Impact behind Ignacio Piatti, who has six.

Oduro also leads the Impact with four assists and has created a dynamic duo up front with Drogba, who has three goals in only six games.

Oduro grew up in Ghana idolizing Drogba, the international superstar from the Ivory Coast, and still finds it hard to believe they are teammates. Drogba assisted on Oduro's game-tying goal Saturday night.

"His wisdom in the locker room is amazing," Oduro said about Drogba. "He's always talking to you technically ... something that you can't get from the coaches from a guy with his calibre. He's a great leader and he's going to help us win."

Drogba didn't take part in practice Thursday, instead training by himself before going for a jog. Coach Mauro Biello explained the club is still monitoring Drogba's conditioning and that after tough practices Tuesday and Wednesday it was a good day for the 38-year-old to take it easy. Drogba is expected to practise again Friday and play on Saturday.

"With Didier, if I look at how effective he's been, he's been super effective," Biello said. "If you look at the last four goals we scored, he was part of all four goals and that's what you want from a forward. In terms of his lucidity and his ability now to move off the ball and his ability to recover quicker, yeah that's still going to need a little bit of work. He's aware of it and he's working hard."

But no matter how hard Drogba works, he'll never be able to catch Oduro.

Source: GHANAsoccernet.com