JON VAN WAGENEN - Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Laurent Manuel, a 24-year old former Brown University player, is currently in the Stockholm area on trial with Sweden's defending champs, AIK.
Manuel had been with Belgian second division club KV Oostende before leaving the team late last year. The New York City native underwent unsuccessful trials at Croatian club RNK Split and Swedish club Väsby FC before arriving at the home of the 2009 Allsvenskan champions.
Manuel shocked locals by showing up to practice wearing the number ten jersey that had been worn by the recently departed Argentinian striker, Ivan Obolo. But despite coming in as a relative unknown, he will at least get a chance to play in a training match.
"He will probably get some action against Vaskalund, a local team from Solna on Sunday," general manager Björn Wesström told Yanks Abroad. "He's playing at least well enough to remain in practices."
The club has not made any judgement at all yet and Wesstrom indicated that he had not seen him play much in person yet.
Initial reports did not seem quite as promising for the dual French and American citizen but there may still be hope yet for the Big Apple-born player.
"We are not actively seeking an outerback," Wesström told the club's homepage last week, "but in theory the roster is never closed."
AIK begin their 2010 Allsvenskan campaign on March 14th versus Mjällby AIF.