Benedict Iroha

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Benedict Iroha
Personal information
Date of birth (1969-11-29) 29 November 1969 (age 50)
Place of birth Aba, Nigeria
Height 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)
Playing position(s) Left back, Left midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989 Bendel Insurance ? (?)
1990 Iwuanyanwu Nationale ? (?)
1991–1992 ASEC Mimosas ? (?)
1992–1996 Vitesse Arnhem 21 (1)
1996–1997 San Jose Clash 33 (2)
1997 D.C. United 17 (4)
1997–1998 Elche CF 1 (0)
1998–2000 Watford 10 (0)
Total 82 (7)
National team
1990–1998 Nigeria 50 (1)
Teams managed
2000–2006 FC Dallas (Youth Coach)
2007 Nigeria U-17 (Assistant Coach)
2007–2008 Dolphins FC
2009– Heartland F.C. (Chief Trainer)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Benedict Iroha (born 29 November 1969) is a former Nigerian association football defender.


Iroha started his career in Nigeria, scoring the first ever goal in the newly professional Nigerian league in 1990 for Iwuanyanwu Nationale, who went on to win the league that year.[1]

Iroha was originally a midfielder before national coach Clemens Westerhof converted him to play left back. His club career in Europe was largely unsuccessful, and Iroha was allocated to San Jose Clash in 1996. Iroha ended up playing in the inaugural MLS match against D.C. United, and is credited with the league's first-ever assist.[2][3] The next season, he was traded to D.C. United, where he won the league title but was dropped to comply with salary restrictions. He entered negotiations with the team to re-sign his contract, but they were halted after Iroha was called up to the World Cup squad for Nigeria.[4] After a move to Spanish side Elche CF in 1997, he moved to Watford in December 1998, playing 10 games for the Hertfordshire side. A problem with bunions forced him to the sidelines, and he retired in March 2000.

International career[edit]

Playing for the Nigerian national team, he has featured in the 1994 FIFA World Cup and the 1998 FIFA World Cup as well as when they won the 1994 African Nations Cup.

Coaching career[edit]

After retiring, he returned to the US to coach in the youth department of FC Dallas. Most recently, he was an assistant with the Nigerian U-17 team that won the 2007 FIFA U-17 World Cup and head coach of Nigeria's Dolphins FC. He currently is on the staff of Heartland of Owerri.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Solaja, Kunle (12 May 2018). "NIGERIA PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE CLOCKS 28". Sports Village Square.
  2. ^ "MLS celebrates 20th anniversary of DC United v San Jose". 1 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Watch the first-ever MLS Match: San Jose Clash vs D.C. United". MLS. 6 April 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  4. ^ Goff, Steven (1 June 1998). "Iroha Called Up By Nigeria; United Was Seeking To Acquire Player". The Washington Post. p. D10.