Updated: Jan 7, 2021
Saint Louis Park, MN - Bennett Kouame has played at Joy of the People since the age of eight and is the first homegrown player to sign with Joy SLP.
Kouame is an attacker and junior at Saint Louis Park High School. He was a first-team all-state selection and helped lead the Orioles to the MSHSL Section 6AA semi-finals. Kouame is a two-time Region Two team ODP selection and three-time Youth Futsal National team selection.
"We are excited to announce Bennett as our first player. It reflects our philosophy of building homegrown players, players playing close to home. Bennett lives just a few blocks from the SLP stadium. He had a great HS season and we look forward to big things from him," said Ted Kroeten, Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Joy of the People.
In addition to Kouame, Joy SLP has recently announced the signing of local homegrown players to the NPSL roster that includes, Emmanuel Iwe, Aden Cavanaugh, Marco Corona-Duran, Eric Lagos, Noah Kantorowiz, and Mika Folstad.
Kroeten has selected well-known local coach, Arinze ‘Ace’ Ezirike, to coach the NPSL expansion team during its inaugural season with Lioul Minas acting as the assistant coach.
Joy Athletic is the umbrella organization for both the NPSL soccer team and the NFSL futsal team, and its mission is to place beauty over winning. The vision is to provide a venue for some of the talent developed in the free play youth system at Joy of the People soccer club and change the way people think about talent development.
Andrei Gotsmanov, General Manager of Joy of the People, will help manage the day-to-day operations of Joy Athletic, bringing to the players and coaching staff his unique perspective as a former MN United player and NCAA standout at St. Johns University and Creighton University.
The NPSL season is scheduled to start in May 2021 and finishes with playoffs in the middle of August 2021. Joy SLP home games will be played at the Oriole Stadium at Saint Louis Park High School.