His return to club action was met by fitness setbacks, and was, thus, forced out of games.
“Last year was a bit difficult for me because I didn’t start with the team for the whole pre-season,” Afful said, as reported by The Columbus Dispatch .
“This year, thank God I’m able to start with them and then finish with them also.
“It takes a while [to find your rhythm], you know? The national team is not like the club level.
"Some of the facilities you get at the club level are way better than the national team, so it was very tough for me, but what can I say?
“I’m a player, so when the national team needs me, I have to go and do my best to help the nation.”
However, Afful did regain fitness and form as he made 29 Major League Soccer appearances as Crew reached the Eastern Conference semi-finals.
He started 26 of the games and netted once.