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Roots Captain Nana Attakora Retires from Playing to Join Roots Coaching Staff

By Roots SC, 11/17/20, 8:45AM PST

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After a more than decade long professional career that spans all levels of US and Canadian soccer, including MLS, NASL, USL and NISA, Roots Captain Nana Attakora has decided to hang up his playing cleats. The center back from Toronto, Canada has been a staple of professional soccer in USSF and has been a beacon of professionalism and leadership throughout his career. 

“Today is obviously an emotional day for me, but also a day in which my head is held high thinking back at all I was able to accomplish in the game,” Said Roots new coach Nana Attakora on his playing retirement. “I want to thank everyone who has played a role in my journey and development throughout the years. I’ve enjoyed everything about it, the ups and downs, the success, and failures, the pain and struggles, the wonderful people and relationships I have been able to make. I’m ready to begin my new chapter and after much thought I feel confident that this is the right time.”

Attakora made his professional debut for his hometown club Toronto FC in 2008 at the age of 19. While with Toronto, Attakora would go on to win the Canadian Championship on three occasions and picked up the Candian U-20 Player of the Year award on two occasions. 

In 2011, Attakora would make his first of many moves to the Bay Area playing for the San Jose Earthquakes before heading to Finland in 2012 and returning to San Jose again in 2013. In 2014 Attakora finished up the MLS portion of his career with D.C. United. 

Since 2014, Attakora has featured in NASL, USL and with Roots in NISA. Attakora would return to the Bay once again to Captain the one year San Francisco Deltas to the NASL Championship in 2017. Attakora rounded out his national team experience in the end with 10 Caps for Canada. 

Attakora joined the Roots in 2020 and captained the team to the NISA Fall Championship Final. He will join the Roots staff as an Assistant Coach and Director of Player Personnel ahead of the 2021 USL Championship Season. 

“I want to thank the Roots organization for this wonderful opportunity. I couldn't have asked for a better group of people and club to be a part of going forward,” said Attakora. “Since day one, I knew that this was going to be a place that I would want to be long term. Everything that the Roots are doing is what I want to be a part of and represent. Their values line up with mine and it's a club I’ve become a true fan of, so I’m willing to do anything I can do to help this organization reach its maximum potential. The Oakland community has become a second home and I look forward to many years here with Roots.”