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Abdoulaye Cissoko: MLS debut ‘a crucial moment in my life’

14:15 SAST 2021/06/23
Abdoulaye Cissoko
The 21-year-old centre-back is thrilled to make his first competitive bow for the Sounders in their triumph over LA Galaxy

Demba Ba’s nephew Abdoulaye Cissoko revelled in his first Major League Soccer appearance in Seattle Sounders 2-1 defeat of LA Galaxy on Sunday.

After two seasons at Tacoma Defiance, the Franco-Senegalese was promoted to Sounders FC – the parent club of Tacoma on May 21, 2021.

Nonetheless, he played his first game against Greg Vanney’s Galaxy – marshalling the backline alongside Jorge Villafana, Daniel Steres, and Julian Araujo.

Despite conceding first at the Dignity Health Sports Park, Brian Schmetzer’s side recorded a comeback win courtesy of goals from Yeimar Gomez and Raul Ruidiaz.

After featuring for 87 minutes, the centre back was substituted for Danny Leyva with three minutes left on the clock.

In a chat with the club’s website, the 21-year-old tagged his debut as ‘a crucial moment’ in his life, while disclosing how he prepared knowing he would square up against Mexico forward Javier Hernandez.

“Good. I feel good, it was unbelievable. A crucial moment in my life and I am very happy to make my debut and I just have to keep going like that,” he said.

“It was a good game and we won also, that’s a wonderful debut for me.

“Before the game, I was a little bit nervous, I watched some videos of Chicharito, his movement and things like that. But during the game, I felt no pressure or anything.

“My teammates also helped me, it was good, and I think I did a good job.”

Thanks to Sunday’s result, Seattle Sounders lead the Western Conference log having garnered 21 points from nine outings.

Unbeaten in their last 13 games in all competitions, Schmetzer’s men host Real Salt Lake and Vancouver Whitecaps in their next two games. And the Senegal prospect is looking forward to those outings.

“The team is in a good mood and I think we have a very special group and even the players on the bench want to play,” he continued.

“We are ready for the two games this week and we hope to play and win.”

Former Chelsea star and Cissoko’s uncle Ba had gone on social media to celebrate his nephew’s feat.

“Proud of you nephew…MLS debut with one of the biggest clubs in North America with a great manager,” the Lugano star tweeted.