MICHAEL ADUBATO - Friday, October 9, 2009
Stony Brook University alumni Mike Palacio just started his European career, but not in one of the traditional starting points for Yanks such as England, Germany or the Scandinavian countries.
"I'm playing for FK Radnicki Obrenovac in Serbian Srpska Liga," the Long Beach, NY native told YA, adding "and how I ended up here is very strange."
"I have a friend Petar Rakovic from Serbia, who played with me at Stony Brook University," he continues. "We have the same agent, so [he] claimed he had trials set up for us in Denmark for a couple good teams."
Palacio joined Rakovic in Serbia to train together before the Danish trials, but as the scheduled dates neared their agent was nowhere to be found.
"I didn't know what to do so we went to Belgrade with a friend of Petar's," the 2008 Red Bull New York draft pick explains. "He brought me to Obrenovac to play a mid-week friendly against Superliga side OfK Belgrade."
"I had the game of my life and scored a goal in the 1-1 tie."
After only the one impressive game against the highly rated Serbian team, Palacio immediately signed on with third division team Radnicki Obrenovac.
"I went out to dinner with Jovica Radonjic, who is the biggest agent in Serbia. After dinner I signed with the team and agent until the end of December."
The former Red Bull feels that, unlike with his earlier experience, he finally has a good agent who will help his career immensely.
"I will be going to big clubs with my agent and my dream of course is to play with Red Star or Partizan Belgrade."
Radnicki Obrenovac currently sit in fifth place in the third-tier Belgrade League, four points off the league lead.