Aaron Bauer, SNY.tv
Getting himself back to full strength for the 2017 season is not the only thing Gideon Baah is doing this offseason.
Baah has been in his home country of Ghana setting up his own charitable foundation to grow the next generation of the "Black Stars." The Gideon Baah YACHAL Foundation works with youth footballers in the country providing equipment and guidance. "Yachal," means hope in Hebrew, the mantra in which the foundation runs.
In an interview with SNY, the New York Red Bulls defender says it was his "dying desire" to give back to youth where he grew up. Most importantly, Baah wants to provide to youngsters what was not always available to him.
"I know how limited my chances were because some basic instrument of the game was not at my disposal," Baah said to SNY. "I want to help in any little way and hopefully get [other] people and corporate bodies to join me in touching lives to help develop the game in Ghana."
Baah was not alone in setting up his foundation. He says the New York Red Bulls provided "massive support" for the foundation's start, and says the team donated "95 percent of" equipment for its first camps in Ghana.
Baah joined the New York last February from Finnish club HJK. Injuries derailed his first season in MLS, with a broken tibia in July ending his debut season stateside. Before the leg break, Baah scored two goals in nine .
As a result of the limited time, Baah called his first season in MLS "terrible," and says the Red Bulls have offered nothing *but* support during his rehabilitation. The charity work has helped break up the rehab process in a positive way.
"I am happy that I started the [2016 season] on a high and had the opportunity to show how good of a player I was before my injury," Baah said. "The first thing for the upcoming season is to get healthy first and I expect nothing but the best out of me this season and to make amends for my absence last season."