Eritrea kick-started its 2022 Qatar Fifa World Cup qualifying campaign with a preliminary round loss against Namibia by the score of 2-1. Eritrea will be represented by both homegrown players and diaspora based players lead by captain Henok Goitom of AIK Stockholm in the Swedish Premier league. Several players have been invited from around the world including current Hungarian first division Eritrean-Aussie Golgol Mebrehatu as well as offensive midfielder Senai Eyob of Norway’s premier league. Eritrean players from the USA, Canada as well as England joined their local Eritrean counterparts along with a couple of players based regionally in the horn of Africa. Most of the diaspora players arrived late due to obligations from their respective professional teams but will be ready for the return leg in Namibia's capital city Windhoek. Coach Alemseged Efrem will lead the team along with his technical crew. Eritrea needs to win by two goals in order to advance to the next round. Here are the list of players currently ready to play along side of the home grown players. Meanwhile, according to our resources 3 younger players with so much hope in the future did not make the trip to Namibia. Haile Solomon from London and exceptional leader, Milkyas Andue and Abel Sequar who have a bright future ahead of them were left out of the line up for now.
1. Henok Goitom (34 Excellent shape) Swedish born Eritrean professional footballer who plays as a centre forward for AIK. Captain of AIK, International media analyst, Eritrean national team player and captain. Scored 14 goals in La Liga previously. Played in the MLS. Player of the year in Sweden. All around great player with great leadership style.
2. Ezana Kahsay (25 Years old) played for the University of Akron in the USA. A very strong national soccer program where several players on his team also represented other countries including the US national team. An excellent physical player that can score at any given time. He uses his left and right foot and his tall size to position himself for goals. Great ball handling skills. Ezana just finished his season with the Virginia Beach City FC (NPSL) National Professional Soccer League where he scored 7 goals in 8 games.
3. Senai Eyob Hagos (24 years old) plays for Norway’s premier league team Nest-Sotra L as a right midfielder who can also score. A hustler who can make big plays. Plays fast attacking style. Can help with the goal scoring and working as a defensive midfield. Recently got traded from Asane another Norway premier league team.
4. Mohamed Saeid (28 years old) also known as Mo plays in the Swedish premier league as a midfielder for IK Sirius. Mohamed whose family is from Agordat Eritrea also played in the MLS (Major Soccer League USA) for the Columbus Crew and later for the Colorado Rapids. Excellent ball control and very physical player. He knows Henok Goitom and they both should be able to connect well for Eritrea. Mo is a great midfielder with crisp passes and physically strong.
5. Robel Asfaha (31Years old) is a leader and can play great defense. Played with former Eritrean national team player and defender Senai Berhane for second division strong team Sundbybergs IK where he also served as a captain and team manager while playing at the same time. He has lots of experience and is one of the group of 7 that will represent Eritrea from Sweden. Robel’s leadership on defense should help the Red Sea Camels play at a higher level.
6. Golgol Mebrehatu (28 Years old) is an Eritrean-Aussie who has had a great career in Australia and more recently in eastern Europe as he made a big impact with his Czech team Mlada Boleslav and then a short stint with the famous Sparta Prague. Golgol currently plays with Hungarian side Puskas Academy named after the Hungarian legend Fernec Puskas. Golgol was being touted for the Australian national team but he finally decided to play for the Eritrean national side. Golgol as his name says is a proven striker who has scored plenty of goals.
7. Christoffer Forsell (25 Years old) mother is Eritrean and he has committed to Eritrea’s national team. He is a great defensive midfield and can bring some physical strength to the defense and midfield areas. He is strong on the ball and has some good skills. He is very fast and is a great addition to the the Eritrean national team. He currently plays in Sweden and has been called up by the LA Galaxy of the MLS in the past.
8. Alexander Andue (21 Years old) An Eritrean-Swede playing for IFK Stocksund in the Swedish second division at a young age is a stand out defensive midfielder. His skills and size will be able to make a difference for the Eritrean national side. He has the potential to be a big star in the future. Very good knowledge of the game. He is familiar with the style that Henok Goitom plays and will work well along with the Swedish group of 7 players coming to represent Eritrea.
9. Ermias Tekie Simon (33 years old) currently plays for Hallonbergen IF in Sweden. Prior to that he was a standout at Sundbybergs IK where he scored several goals and assisted on a few while playing in the Central defense. He is strong and has a great defensive mind. Comes highly recommended by Henok Goitom who also recommended Senai Berhane in the previous World Cup qualifying against Botswana. Ermias brings lots of experience as a veteran.
Eri-internationalsports.org would like to wish these players and all players a great future with the Eritrean national football program. This is just the start of what will be a great future for many of these players. There were a couple of players left out and what we can learn from this is that the talent pool of players is always available to represent the ever cherished Eritrean national team colors.