As the 2017 regular season draws to a close, we continue our spotlight series with one of the club’s most exciting young stars — Lolo Karpeh.
In his first year with the club, Karpeh has made an impact mostly as a super-sub when the Royals need a late goal or are looking to see out a slim lead. The Cleveland State forward’s speed and energy has lifted AFC Cleveland in the latter stages of matches, and has brought the team results in desperate situations.
Karpeh has currently recorded two assists in his six regular season appearances, including one of the season’s most impactful with his game-winning, 90′ cross to defeat Fort Pitt Regiment on June 23. Karpeh also starred in the club’s midseason friendly against Team Challenger FC, when he earned NOOMA Man of the Match honors after providing a goal, an assist, and an earned penalty kick in the 4-3 victory.
The young forward from Accra, Ghana has already made quite the name for himself in Northeast Ohio after a successful high school career and freshman season with the Cleveland State Vikings. Karpeh was part of the 2015 St. Ignatius team that won the OHSAA Division 1 state title and was ranked No. 1 nationally by USA Today Sports. He helped the Wildcats earn a state championship by scoring in the final, and also participated in a high school All-American game where only 40 players across the country were selected.
In his first year as a Viking, Karpeh led his team in goals and overall points, all while earning a place in the Horizon League All-Freshman Team. The 19 year-old’s favorite soccer memory to date is scoring two goals in his Vikings debut against the University of Dayton.
Lolo’s favorite soccer club, Real Madrid, and player he models his game after, Cristiano Ronaldo, are a natural fit for the player given his playing style.
“I look up to Ronaldo because I love his winning spirit,” said Karpeh. “I also like how he plays with power and speed.”
Outside of soccer, Lolo hopes to become a history teacher someday and will begin his sophomore year this fall as a history major.
Karpeh and the rest of the Royals have one shot at making the 2017 NPSL playoffs with a win Friday against FC Buffalo. Be sure to follow match updates on Twitter @AFCCleveland and on afccleveland.com.
Photo Credit: T.J. Powell