Kwadwo Poku’s next goal will be for FC Anzhi Makhachkala in Russia. (Andy Mead/YCJ Photo)

By Michael Lewis Editor

Miami FC standout Kwadwo Poku is heading to Russia for his next soccer challenge.

The former New York City FC player Wednesday signed with FC Anzhi Makhachkala of the Russian Premier League. The deal will keep the Ghanaian native with the club until May 31, 2020, according to his new team.

The 25-year-old Poku scored seven goals and dished out seven assists for a Miami FC side that dominated the 2017 North American Soccer League spring and fall standings. The Cosmos eliminated Miami FC in The Championship semifinals.

Poku, who also played for the Atlanta Silverbacks during the 2014 season, was a super-sub with NYCFC, connecting for an impressive four goals and seven assists in 27 appearances over 878 minutes during the team’s 2015 maiden season, but could never get a foothold on a starting job.

After Patrick Vieira took over, he decided it was better for Poku to play regularly somewhere else as the team sold the 6-1, 185-lb attacking player to Miami FC for $750,000 during the 2016 season.

With the NASL’s lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation unsettled and the league most likely not returning to competition until the summer at the earliest, Miami FC decided it was in Poku’s best interests to play somewhere and the team to get something in return. Goal USA reported that it the deal was in the six-figure range, but not as high as the amount Miami FC paid for him.

Anzhi is 15th out of 16 teams in the RPL.

Front Row Soccer editor Michael Lewis has covered 13 World Cups (eight men, five women), seven Olympics and 25 MLS Cups. He has written about New York City FC, New York Cosmos, the New York Red Bulls and both U.S. national teams for Newsday and has penned a soccer history column for the Lewis, who has been honored by the Press Club of Long Island and National Soccer Coaches Association of America, is the former editor of He has written seven books about the beautiful game and has published ALIVE AND KICKING The incredible but true story of the Rochester Lancers. It is available at