ISLAMABAD: Second division United States club Sacramento Republic FC have signed up Pakistan football captain Kaleemullah, the club announced on its website on Friday. Kaleemullah, a versatile player, who has featured as a striker, midfielder and winger in his career won Kyrgyzstan’s premier football league title with FC Dordoi Bishek in 2014. The Chaman-born player also picked up the Golden Boot award in the tournament, scoring 16 goals in 17 appearances. He was also named Kyrgyzstan’s Player of the Year in the 2015 season. Kaleemullah became the most expensive player in Kyrgyzstan when he signed a two-year extension to his deal last year worth Rs.10 million.
The 22-year-old Kaleemullah, a cousin of former Pakistan captain Mohammad Essa, started with Young Afghan FC and Khan Research Laboratories (KRL) in the Pakistan’s domestic football leagues. The Pakistan skipper continued with KRL in his senior career and went on to score 72 goals in 94 appearances for the department in the Pakistan Premier League (PPL), the country’s top-tier football tournament. In 2013 PPL season, Kaleemullah scored a record 31 goals and seven hat-tricks. The forward was awarded with the national team captaincy in 2014. He has scored four goals in 25 appearances for the Greenshirts.
Sacramento Republic FC Technical Director Graham Smith was all praise for Kaleemullah and said in a statement that the experience would be a great learning curve for the Pakistan International. “The signing of Kaleemullah demonstrates the continued mission of Republic FC to bring the best players from around the world to our capital city, His scoring prowess is well documented, but it may also still take a little time for him to both learn the style of play in the US.”