The Halifax Wanderers have signed Nigerian forward Kosi Nwafornso to a contract through the 2023 CPL season with club options for 2024 and 2025.
Nwafornso, 25, joins the Wanderers after scoring 19 goals in just 13 games for Vaughan Azzurri in 2022.
“Kosi has incredible physical ability, a knack for scoring goals and has grown in his ability to play with his back to goal that adds to his strong finishing,” Wanderers head coach Patrice Gheisar said. “Obviously, he also has that connection of playing with Riley (Ferrazzo) and Massimo (Ferrin) that made it very tempting for him to sign with us.”
Born in Abuja, Nigeria, Nwafornso played four years at St. Bonaventure University in the NCAA, tallying 18 goals and seven assists over that time. He also played in the USL League 2 for both the Charlotte Eagles and Colorado Pride Switchbacks. With Charlotte, Nwafornso was part of the team’s championship-winning run in 2017.
“It’s been a dream for me; some of my family was originally living here when they came from Nigeria, so I visited back in the day and always liked Halifax, so when Patrice asked me to come, it was a no-brainer,” Nwafornso said.
One of his sisters attended Dalhousie University and another went to Mount Saint Vincent University. Nwafornso even attended a soccer camp Nwafornso and his family are in the final stages of their Canadian permanent residency application which would qualify him as a domestic player once complete. This would allow the Wanderers to retain an international roster slot this season.
“I like playing in Patrice’s system, and I’m looking forward to playing for him in Halifax in a city I really like, so I’m just excited for the future.” Nwafornso would go on to sign with Forge FC in 2021 before an injury curtailed his season. In 2022, Nwafornso potted a hat-trick in the League1 Ontario Championship match to cap off Vaughan’s undefeated season. He also had an assist and was named the game’s MVP. His 19 goals from 13 matches came in just 854 minutes of play, a rate of two goals per 90 minutes.
“I like to be an exciting player when I’m out there,” he said. “I can hold up the ball but also go in behind the defence, I like to score goals.”