Mamadou “Futty” Danso (born April 27, 1983) is a Gambian professional footballer who plays as a centre back for Portland Timbers 2 in the USL Championship.
College and amateur
Danso was recruited to play soccer for North Carolina Wesleyan College and also went on to play two years of college soccer at Southern Polytechnic State University, where he was a two-time All-Southern States Athletic Conference selection. Danso became SPSU’s first All-America selection in 2008, after leading the conference in scoring with 19 goals, and finished his college career with 35 goals in total.
During his college years, Danso also played in the USL Premier Development League for Cary RailHawks U23s.
Danso was acquired by Major League Soccer (MLS) club D.C. United via the waiver ranking order, having left college early to turn professional, but was transferred to Portland Timbers of the USL First Division in April 2009 without ever signing a contract with MLS.
Danso made his professional debut on April 25, 2009, coming on as a late substitute in Portland’s game against the Vancouver Whitecaps. He scored his first professional goal on May 24, 2009, in a 2-1 victory over the Puerto Rico Islanders. He stayed with the Timbers when they moved to MLS in 2011, playing as a defender there for three and a half seasons and helping them win the Western Conference standings and advance to the Western Conference Final in 2013. When Danso played with fellow Gambian Pa Modou Kah, the two Timbers centrebacks became known as “The Great Wall of Gambia”.
In June 2014, Danso was traded to the Montreal Impact in exchange for a second-round pick in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
In March 2015, Danso was announced as a new signing of the Carolina Railhawks.
In January 2017, Danso was unveiled as one of Kelantan FA’s import players, replacing Cédric Djeugoue who failed to be signed by the club after he had a problem with his documents.
In March 2018, Danso signed for North Carolina FC (the renamed North Carolina Railhawks). On Jan. 1, 2019, he joined the Malaysian team UiTM FC.
In August 2020, Portland Timbers 2, the USL reserve team of the Portland Timbers, announced that they had signed Danso.
On August 30, 2010, Danso was given his first chance at international play by being selected to the Gambia national football team’s September 5, 2010, African Cup of Nations qualifier against Namibia.