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Fresno FC adds Lamin Suma and Sam Strong

By Angel Moreno, 12/21/17, 2:59PM PST


The Foxes add to their roster with forward Lamin Suma and defender Sam Strong

FRESNO, Calif. — Fresno Football Club has announced forward Lamin Suma and defender Sam Strong as the club’s latest player signings for the 2018 United Soccer League season, pending league and federation approval. Suma, 26, is a free agent signing after having spent the 2017 season at Sacramento Republic FC, while Strong, 21, will be a USL rookie after playing in the Premier Development League with Ventura County Fusion.

“I really like that both Lamin and Sam display promise to be good players in our team. They want to prove themselves in this league and that’s huge,” general manager Frank Yallop said. “Lamin is an exciting attacking player with strength and the ability to create chances and score from a wide position. He's got good pace and is a powerful runner that will serve us well on the outside.”

Lamin Suma / Photo Courtesy of FC Flora

At 5-foot-11, 170 pounds, Suma appeared in five matches for Republic FC in 2017, including three playoff matches, all as a substitute. In 2016, he moved to the United States and joined American Soccer League club Philadelphia Fury. He scored four goals in three games and helped the Fury to an unbeaten 9-0-1 record and ASL Spring Championship.

“I think Lamin has something to prove, and I’m giving him the opportunity to prove himself in Fresno,” head coach Adam Smith said. “He’s an excellent athlete that is going to cause defenders problems.”

Prior to the U.S., Suma saw stints with Finnish third division side Atlantis FC, Estonian first division club FC Flora Tallinn, and FK Jedinstvo, of Montenegro’s first division. At the international level, Suma has played for the Sierra Leonian U17, U20, and U23 national teams.

Sam Strong / Photo courtesy of Ventura County Fusion

Strong, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound defender, most recently played for the Ventura County Fusion in the PDL. He scored one goal in six matches. The Santa Barbara, Calif., native recently finished his junior season at Coastal Carolina University, where he played 14 matches with nine starts. He played his first two collegiate seasons at UC Santa Barbara, where he made 20 appearances in 2015 as a true freshman for the Gauchos. In 2015, he was one of just two college players to be called up to the U-23 U.S. Men’s National Team, joined by Jordan Morris (Stanford, Seattle Sounders FC).

“Sam has shown great capabilities, and with the right coaching, he’s going to be a very solid player in the USL,” Smith added. “He’s young and will push the guys ahead of him. He’s big and strong, and pretty mobile for his size and we’re going to use those strengths. He’s got a lot of work and learning to do, but I’m excited for the opportunity to be a part of his development.”

Suma and Strong join Mickey Daly, Agustin Cazarez, Christian Chaney, Matthew Baldisimo, Terran Campbell, Sean Melvin, Rony Argueta, and Zachary Ellis-Hayden on the Fresno FC roster.

Transaction: Fresno Football Club sign defender Sam Strong and forward Lamin Suma to one-year contracts on Dec. 21, 2017. 

Name: Lamin Suma Pronunciation: Luh-MEEN Sue-ma
Position: Midfielder
Height: 5-11
Weight: 170 lbs.
Date of Birth: July. 14, 1991
Age: 26
Hometown: Freetown, Sierra Leone
Country: Sierra Leone
Last Club: Sacramento Republic FC
How Acquired: Signed on Dec. 21, 2017 

Name: Sam Strong
Position: Defender
Height: 6-2
Weight: 195 lbs.
Date of Birth: Aug. 23, 1996
Age: 21
Hometown: Santa Barbara, Calif.
Country: USA
Last Club: UC Santa Barbara
How Acquired: Signed on Dec. 21, 2017