JOHN KRETLOW - Thursday, September 2, 2010
Sean Monaghan, an Orange County, California native, will get the shot of a lifetime when he trials for Crystal Palace in mid-September.
Monaghan, 20 years old, is hoping to impress scouts from the Championship club and find his way to England when the Eagles' scouts see him play in Los Angeles.
The young forward's journey to this incredible opportunity is unorthodox at best.
Because of financial restrictions, Monaghan says he never played club soccer in southern California and did not even play for his high school team.
"I never played club soccer due to the money it cost each year to put somebody in it, the downfall of soccer in this country in my opinion...the money," Monaghan recently told YA.
Now at a local league, he happened to be playing in a tournament at a college where a Southampton FC scout was present.
Though nothing came about with Southampton, the scout was impressed with Monaghan and was able to set up his trial with Crystal Palace. Since then, he has been helping Monaghan prepare for his tryout.
"I've been talking to a scout at Southampton FC in England who's pretty much been training me and getting my body and mind right for Crystal Palace," he revealed.
"If they like me at the trial, I go to south London for three months with everything paid for and will train with the team. If they like me in those 3 months I get offered a professional contract with them."
The young American sees this as a huge opportunity to make his dreams as a professional soccer player come true.
"Soccer is pretty much my life and there's nowhere I've ever wanted to go more than the U.K. If it works out, it will be a dream come true," affirmed Monaghan.
Monaghan's parents are both Scottish-born which make a possible move to the Isles much easier logistically so receiving a work permit should not be a problem.
The forward's Scottish ties also have his eyes set on trials with clubs in Scotland, including Celtic.
"If the scout from Palace puts in a good word, I can get a chance to train with Celtic's reserve team to see what I have," he concluded. "If nothing works out with that, I plan on trying to get some practices with smaller SPL teams."