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MLS fans know Fanendo Adi as a star striker for the Portland Timbers, a physically-imposing forward blessed with elite finishing ability.

He’s made it look easy in MLS, scoring 49 goals in 106 regular season appearances and helping the Timbers to their 2015 MLS Cup title, but Adi’s journey to the league was far from smooth.

Raised in a small Nigerian village three hours from the capital city Abuja, Adi had to tell a bit of a white lie to his family just to attend a tryout for a scout in Lagos. Once there, he beat out 400 other players to nab the scout’s one spot, kick-starting his pro career and beginning a journey that eventually brought him to America.

The latest episode of MLS Insider looks at Adi’s road to MLS, diving deep on the 26-year-old’s path to Portland and his successful tenure with the Timbers ahead of their Heineken Rivalry Week match against the Seattle Sounders at Providence Park on Sunday night

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