Ghanaian winger Latif Blessing has expressed his worry about being underrated.
The former liberty star has cried out by the consistent lack of invite by the technical team of the Black Stars, insisting he could switch allegiance to the United States, where he plies his trade, he has been of the bright spot for LAFC this h.
“I come from far so I say to myself, I have to be a better player,” the Ghanaian midfielder told reporters after training earlier this week. “So any game by game, any training, I work hard.”
The hard work certainly doesn’t go unnoticed by teammates. Earlier this season veteran right back Steven Beitashour spoke so highly of Blessing’s hustle, he has been given the nickname of “Game Changer” that he estimated a full 10% boost for the team as a whole this season over last year.
In 2019, Blessing has transformed from a role of reserve winger to that of a starting central midfielder, the first action he saw there for the team was way back during a St. Patrick’s Day meeting at Yankee Stadium against NYCFC, in a pinch with the ranks there thin due to injuries. But head coach Bob Bradley hasn’t been shy about slotting him on the backline in mop-up duty, either.
“Latif, his quickness, his energy, no matter where you put him on the field, he’s somebody that closes plays down, picks up loose balls,” said Bradley. “He’s very difficult when teams try to put pressure on him because he’s got an ability to twist away from opponents and then when he has some space, move with the ball or play the right passes, so he’s versatile, but he’s got this quickness and this energy that whenever there is a play where he’s around the ball, you know that something good can happen.”
That was on display in Thursday’s Audi 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs Western Conference Semifinal victory over the LA Galaxy, where Blessing was a menace to the visitors, notably snatching the ball away and starting the attack that led to Carlos Vela’s opening goal.