Nana Attakora tries to defend 2011 MLS MVP Dwayne De Rosario during a July 30 match at Buck Shaw Stadium.
After failing to come to an agreement with the San Jose Earthquakes on a new contract, defender Nana Attakora became a free agent following the conclusion of the 2011 MLS season. With his playing time last year limited due to injuries, Attakora logged only 383 minutes in six appearances for the Quakes after arriving in San Jose in a July trade that sent Ryan Johnson Toronto FC. The Canadian International let it be known to reporters that he welcomed the opportunity to play for Earthquakes, but that has ambitions were to play abroad at the commencement of his four-year MLS rookie contract.
In January, Attakora joined German second division club 1. FC Union Berlin on trial during their winter break training camp in Spain. According to reports out of Berlin, the Canadian defender did not do enough during the trial to warrant a contract offer.
Earlier this month, Attakora shifted his sights to Great Britain, where reports have the former Quakes defender on trial with Scottish Premier League side Hibernian FC. Hibs coach Pat Fenlon was impressed enough with the 22-year old to ask him to extend his trial with the club for another week. Given that Attakora could be signed on a free transfer, the risk is low for the relegation threatened Hibs to continue their assessment of the defender.
Through it all, the Earthquakes technical staff has indicated that they remain hopeful that a deal can be agreed with Attakora, but that the decision to move forward on that front is firmly that of the player. While the off-season signing of Honduran International Victor Bernardez was a boost to a central back line that lost 2011 starter Bobby Burling to the Montreal Impact in November’s MLS Expansion Draft, the Earthquakes arguably need one more experienced central defender to add to the roster ahead of the 2012 season. If Attakora’s efforts to secure a contract overseas do not come to fruition, the 22-year old may still find his way back to San Jose.
For any club looking to sign the free agent, they can get a head start on their recruiting due diligence with a look at the following video:
Interestingly, but not surprisingly, the video does not include any highlights from his time with the Earthquakes.