KENYA BROWN - Thursday, August 25, 2016
US Under-20 national team forward Emmanuel Sabbi announced on Tuesday that he has signed a contract with Spanish La Liga side UD Las Palmas.
The 18-year-old, who had committed to play at the University of Akron, made the decision to forgo a college soccer career and try his luck at making it professionally in Spain.
"I am very happy to announce that I have officially signed with UD Las Palmas in La Liga. I am very blessed for this opportunity, I want to thank UD Las Palmas for giving me the opportunity to showcase my hard work. I want to thank Nike for also giving me the chance to be part of a great family," Sabbi posted on his Instagram account.
"I am eager to start my career for this great team and city. God is the reason, time to work harder than ever. Thanks to my family, including those who helped with this opportunity and all my love ones."
Sabbi, who was born in Italy, had interest from many teams including those in MLS. However, according to reports, he had no desire to play in the US league.
The decision by the youngster to forgo college for the professional ranks is that latest made by a US youth international. Goalkeeper Justin vom Steeg recently signed a contract with German 2. Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf and others have signed with teams in Europe, Mexico, the MLS, NASL and USL.
Las Palmas, based on the Canary Islands, started their La Liga campaign on a positive note on Monday as they recorded a 4-2 win over Valencia.