European Soccer

Cervi finally set to complete Celtic deal

Dominic Cervi (ISI Photos) 

Dominic Cervi has gone more than a year waiting for his professional soccer dreams to come true, and now the American goalkeeper is set to finally become a pro as he is set to sign a deal with Scottish club Celtic after receiving his Italian passport last week.

Selected with the 12th overall pick in the 2008 MLS Draft by the Chicago Fire, Cervi passed on a minimum-salary offer from the Fire and eventually made his way to Scotland, where he impressed Celtic after a lengthy trial last September. The only thing that stood in his way at that point was securing an Italian passport. After spending months in Italy, Cervi finally secured his passport and will be free to complete a deal with Celtic. A deal is expected to be completed this week.

A 6-foot-6 goalkeeper out of the University of Tulsa, Cervi first drew serious attention at the 2008 MLS Draft Combine, where he was stood out as the most impressive goalkeeper in the draft. His performance there eventually led to a stint with the U.S. Under-23 national team and the 22-year-old has even spent time training with the U.S. senior national team.

What do you think of this news? Excited to see another American signing with a top club? Think Cervi will get a chance to play (assuming Artur Boruc is sold)? Disappointed he didn't come to MLS, or does his year-long wait to find a team look worth it now?

Share your thoughts below.

  • MikeK

    Excellent news. I think he’ll have a shot to prove himself eventually. He’ll have to do some time with the reserves, but that’s to be expected.

    Good to see an American playing on the right side of Glasgow for a change.


  • simms21

    What is with this Italian Passport thing…does he have the potential to jump ship Ives? I think we need to cap him. I know people we’ve been kind of “Cap Him!” crazy now for all potential US internationals but it wouldn’t settle right with me if Italy stole another one from us…Stupid Rossi elbow stole a world cup game from us and now they want to steal our players I say we wage war!


  • JustinG

    Between Guzan, Cervi, and Seitz I think we (USA) are not going to be too bad off in the years to come between the posts. Not to mention any unknown/little known person surfacing.


  • sarah cracknell

    great. it’s always good anytime someone can avoid playing in MLS.


  • THE Nick

    The guy you’re talking about who’s “elbow stole a world cup game” from us, that’s De Rossi, a central midfield player from Roma, the Italian/American forward, Giuseppe Rossi, who you are trying to refer to was not on the Italian National Team yet in 2006.


  • Matt

    If Boruc is sold, he still might not be automatically on the first team. Celtic signed Lukaz Zaluska, keeper from Dundee United and the Polish National team and is worthy of the #1 spot as well.


  • huricano

    I hope he can develop and prosper in Scottland. The contracts offered to young players in MLS are shambolic. Some players make nearly a million, and others less than 20k. Is even JPA, or Landon Donovan 50 times better than even the leagues worst player?


  • Tony in Quakeland

    sarah: Yeah, look how it screwed up McBride, Dempsey, Boconegra, etc…


  • Chase

    “What is with this Italian Passport thing?”

    There was no way that Cervi would have been able to secure a UK work permit (needed for a foreign player to compete in the SPL or PL) without European Union citizenship, hence the reason for Cervi pursuing and eventually attaining Italian dual citizenship.


  • mike ruze

    Do they have a youth team? I find it hard to believe he will be there second or even third string goalie without ever being a true professional.

    Should have signed with a real team like the Fire or Rangers.


  • matt m.


    I don’t think Italy has a real shortage of goaltenders that they’d need to try to poach an american which no one (including MLS) had heard as of a year ago. I have no idea if Cervi will be the real thing but Buffon isn’t likely nervous.


  • Brian

    So when he comes back in two years like most young Americans who go over there, does he merit an allocation or weighted lottery?


  • dj voter

    Hopefully, he’ll be bald in 2-3 years.

    Posted by: Mikemike | May 20, 2009 at 01:30 PM

    Thats’s the spirit


  • dano

    Tony, while MLS worked out great for those guys, you can name just as many players for who it wasn’t ideal. Who is to say those players would or wouldn’t develop better here or there. I don’t think you can definitively say one route is necessarily better or worse for development at this point.

    However MLS has been less than inclined toward foreign transfers when players have desired to switch after they’ve developed. For that reason alone, I think it was a good decision. He can always come back. Getting to the other side of the pond would have been more difficult if he’d signed a contract.


  • rednow.red4ever

    “I don’t think Italy has a real shortage of goaltenders that they’d need to try to poach an american which no one (including MLS) had heard as of a year ago.”

    Posted by: matt m. | May 20, 2009 at 01:36 PM

    I’d agree on Italy not having much of a shortage, but…umm…the Fire drafted him with the 12th overall pick a year ago, so MLS most certainly had “heard” of him.

    He also played on the U-23 squad in Olympics qualifying IIRC, so seeing he’s over 20, he should be cap tied anyway.


  • CSD

    I would love to see a picture of him and wee skinny little DaMarcus out on the town in Glasgow.


  • Blake

    Everybody, keep your pants on. Dom Cervi is raw as sushi and he’ll probably be lucky if he gets the number 2 spot. I don’t think we’ll be hearing from him as a legitimate professional or international goalkeeper for a few more years now. It’s fun to wait and see but this guy isn’t going to save Celtic or jump to Italy’s team or something.


  • rednow.red4ever

    I agree with Blake that I think Cervi appears overrated (or at least raw) from what I’ve seen of him.

    However, if he plays internationally it would only be for us. I’m quite sure he started the third qualifier for the 2008 Olympics (this was post- the now famous Cuban defection incident where half the teams left). But either way, according to WIKI he definitely started two matches in the last Toulon tournament.


  • Hello

    Cervi is very overrated and wasnt even the best keeper in the state of oklahoma. Lance Parker was who now gets 0 minutes for Chivas….. You can argue, but as someone that covers soccer here in Oklahoma, not a single person would argue that.


  • SayervilleFC

    Probably will earn more with his signing bonus from Celtic than he would have in two seasons at what he was offered from MLS.

    Ergo, good move.


  • SCNewJersey

    as previously stated,


    Now all we need is an outfield player there (I’m looking at you, Sacha!)


  • John D

    Very happy to see an American with the Bhoys. Its always been painful to see Americans on the other side of Glasgow.

    I’ve heard the staff see as a longer term project in 2-3 years.


  • Jim

    As has been said before, great to see an American sign with the Bhoys. now if Sacha can get it together with Chivas we can get another one on the filed.


  • Tony

    Man, how I love hearing these relatively unknown American players moving over to solid European clubs. It’s great to see guys make the move without being the ‘big name player’ with ALL of the pressure of being the messiah for American soccer. Hopefully this next wave can progress naturally without the really excessive speculation that has weighed so heavily on the likes of Donovan, Adu, Beasley, Mathis, etc.


  • Sean Monaghan

    I love all the comments about,great to see a yank on the right side of gladow,we had one a while back ( a goalie 60-80 years ago) He will certainly be a long term prospect,even if boruc is sold im guessing Zeluska would start. I found out about this a couple of days ago talking to him on facebook actually haha


  • Brian

    Piss off Cervi. You could have been playing football here for a year or two and then made your move. Here’s hoping you cause hoops to again piss away the title.


  • Sean Monaghan

    Brian how many in a row again?Don’t be bitter….he took the better team and the better money.


  • Gary

    “FINALLY! A Yank on Celctic!”

    i hear ya! if he ends up on the team and is decent, i just might end up getting a celtic keeper jersey with his name on it. hail hail, kid!


  • dfobare

    Steve Clark took over Cervi’s spot on the PDL’s Bucks squad was an improvement. Not to say that Cervi doesn’t have potential, but…….


Add your comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More from SBI Soccer