BRIAN SCIARETTA - Friday, November 6, 2009
Reports have surfaced this morning that Portugese club Sporting Braga have signed USA U20 defender Gale Agbossoumonde. According to Portugese newspaper A Bola, Agbossoumonde will join the club once he turns 18 years old on November 17.
According to the report, this is a loan agreement and Agbossoumonde will initially play for Sporting Braga's junior team. While with the junior team he will be closely monitored by head coach Domingos Paciencia. Traffic Sports will continue to pay Gale's full salary and Sporting Braga will have a preference or option clause in the event that they want to keep him longer.
The tall central defender was widely regarded as one of the most promising players on the USA U20 team that failed to advance out of group play after a win and two losses. Agbossoumonde was born in Togo but a civil war there forced him and his family to flee to neighboring Benin. When he was just eight years old, Gale along with his mother, brothers, and sister left Africa and moved to Syracuse, NY.
Once there, he quickly established himself as an elite player in the youth ranks in the United States. This past year he had originally planned on entering the NCAA soccer system via UCLA, but in August he opted to sign with the sports management group, Traffic Sports.
Traffic Sports has owned his rights since then and Traffic Sports' director, Fernando Clavijo, told YA back in September that over dozen different European teams planned to scout Agbossoumonde at the U20 World Cup.
Braga have so far enjoyed a highly successful season in Portugal's top flight, currently leading the league by a three-point margin with an undefeated record after nine games.
YA will continue to monitor this situation and will report any further news on this reported transfer as it becomes available.