Fifi Baiden

Kingsley Mensah "Fifi" Baiden (born November 11, 1991) is a Ghanaian former professional footballer who is currently a coach with the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's soccer team.

Fifi Baiden
Personal information
Full name Kingsley Mensah Baiden
Date of birth (1991-11-11) November 11, 1991
Place of birth Ajumako, Ghana
Height 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Playing position Midfielder
Youth career
Right to Dream Academy
2007–2010 Dunn School
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010–2013 UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 76 (2)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2014 Columbus Crew 1 (0)
2014Dayton Dutch Lions (loan) 2 (0)
Total 3 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Early life and education

Baiden was born November 11, 1991, in Ajumako, Ghana.[1] He was a member of Ghana-based Right to Dream Academy, which he joined around the age of 10.[1][2] To help his family financially, Baiden would sell kerosene amongst other odd jobs.[3] He describes his early life:

Growing up in Ghana was tough. I grew up in a poor household where food and education was scarce. Soccer was one of the gateways for poor children to create opportunities for themselves from that poor environment.

Fifi Baiden[1]

He earned a scholarship to Dunn School in Los Olivos, California for Fall 2007.[1] With Dunn, he captured three-straight MVP awards. He earned an athletic scholarship to the University of California, Santa Barbara and played four years of college soccer for the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's soccer team.[4]

Playing career

In January 2014, Baiden was drafted in the 3rd round (42nd overall) of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by the Columbus Crew.[5] He became the second Right to Dream Academy member to be drafted into MLS after former Dunn School and UCSB teammate Michael Tetteh.[3] After playing for them in preseason, he was officially signed in February 2014.[6][7]

Baiden made his professional debut on March 30, 2014, when he appeared on loan for the Columbus Crew's USL Pro affiliate club Dayton Dutch Lions in a 0-3 loss against New York Red Bulls Reserves.[8][9]

Baiden would return to make one appearance for the Columbus Crew on May 31, 2014.[10] In July 2014, he was placed on the season-ending injured reserve list due to a torn acetabular labrum.[11] Baiden was waived at the conclusion of the season.[12]

Coaching career

Baiden was named as a volunteer assistant coach with the UC Santa Barbara Gauchos men's soccer team in August 2015.[13]

Personal life

Baiden was named as a Humanitarian Ambassador for MAP International in August 2014 for his efforts in the 2014 West African Ebola virus epidemic.[14]

References

  1. Farrow, Austin (September 19, 2014). "The Determination of BlackStar Kingsley Baiden". www.SoccerNewsDay.com. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  2. Ochoa, Paul-Michael (November 13, 2013). "Fifi Baiden: Ghana Born, Gaucho Bred". Daily Nexus. Santa Barbara, California.
  3. Kwaw, Erasmus (February 3, 2014). "From Kerosene seller to the MLS: The story of Fifi Baiden". www.Goal.com. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  4. "Fifi Baiden: Santa Barbara Athletics". UC Santa Barbara Gauchos. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  5. Ochoa, Paul-Michael (January 22, 2014). "Two Gauchos Selected in MLS SuperDraft". Daily Nexus. Santa Barbara, California. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  6. Jardy, Adam (February 12, 2014). "Baiden Reportedly Signs". The Columbus Dispatch. Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  7. Guldan, Patrick (February 14, 2014). "Crew add Ben Sweat and Fifi Baiden to roster". www.MassiveReport.com. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  8. van Druenen, Sid (March 30, 2014). "Dayton Dutch Lions Fall on the Road". Dayton Dutch Lions. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  9. Efrus, Richard (March 31, 2014). "Red Bulls Reserves Earn 3-0 Win Over Dayton Dutch Lions". New York Red Bulls. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  10. "Toronto FC vs. Columbus Crew". Major League Soccer. May 31, 2014. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  11. "Crew will be without injured Williams, Baiden". USA Today. Tysons Corner, Virginia. July 18, 2014.
  12. Jardy, Adam (November 18, 2014). "Crew Declines Options On Seven Players". The Columbus Dispatch. Columbus, Ohio. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  13. "Gauchos add O'Brien, Baiden to staff". PresidioSports.com. August 26, 2015. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  14. "Columbus Crew Member, Kingsley "Fifi" Baiden Named Humanitarian Ambassador for MAP International". www.map.org. August 29, 2014. Archived from the original on 2015-12-19. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
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