Cavalry FC has added another fresh face to the 2021 roster, announcing on Thursday that they've signed Canadian-American striker Ahinga Selemani. Selemani, a 24-year-old forward born in Moncton, New Brunswick, joins Cavalry from Lincoln Red Imps in Gibraltar. He has spent the last few years at clubs all around the world, including in the USL PDL, the Greek top flight, the Czech second tier, and the top division in New Zealand. In New Zealand, Selemani scored 10 goals and added six assists in 16 appearances for Hawke's Bay United in 2019-20, where he formed a lethal attacking partnership with former Valour FC midfielder Dylan Sacramento — the two assisted on each other's goals on several occasions, as Selemani finished third overall in league scoring and was voted the club's player of the year by both teammates and coaches. Prior to his adventures in Europe and Oceania, Selemani played NCAA soccer in the United States, with a year at Michigan University and two at UC Santa Barbara (where he scored 12 goals in 43 appearances). As a dual national, Selemani has represented the U.S. at youth levels, including U-17, U-18, and U-20, although he is still eligible to represent Canada at the senior level.
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"Ahinga is a very exciting prospect, the more we scouted his history, the more we felt he would be a great fit for our team," said Cavalry coach Tommy Wheeldon Jr. in a media release. "He has incredible pace and dribbling ability, combined with a decent goal-scoring record from his previous season, shows us he’s on an upward trend of his career. Aside from his ability, Ahinga is a great personality that will add to our club culture. We know he has had a good development pathway coming through NCAA and the U.S. national youth teams, coupled with the fact he was born in Canada and counts as a domestic player makes his signing a no-brainer for us." Selemani himself added: "Joining Cavalry FC is an exciting moment and step for me and my family. I am more than thankful for the opportunity to be able to call ATCO Field (at Spruce Meadows) home. I hope to continue to build on the momentum the staff and players have created over the first two seasons and to be successful as a group." With this addition, Cavalry now has 11 players signed for 2021, and Selemani becomes the second newcomer to join the squad (alongside former York9 FC midfielder Joseph Di Chiara). Eight players from the 2020 roster have yet to be officially signed or released, with nine (including Richard Luca, who didn't play at The Island Games) confirmed to be returning.