U.S. Men's Olympic Team

Agbossoumonde passes on MLS move

GaleAgbossoumonde (ISI)

U.S. Under-23 national team defender Gale Agbossoumonde has endured a rough road in his quest for regular playing time since turning pro two years ago. With a recent stint at Eintracht Frankfurt failing to deliver him playing time, Agbossoumonde looked poised for a move to Major League Soccer.

That move will not be happening.

Agbossoumonde, 20, rejected a contract offer from Major League Soccer this week, choosing instead to see out the final year of his current deal with Traffic Sports. He is expected to make a move to play for top NASL side Carolina Railhawks for the upcoming season, with an eye toward a potential move back to Europe as a free agent at the end of the year.

With the Olympics looming this summer, and with Agbossoumonde expected to be a part of the U.S. Olympic team set-up, he could wind up playing himself into a big free agent move to Europe if he shows well at the Olympics.

Final details on the MLS offer made to Agbossoumonde were not made available to SBI,  but it is believed to have been a four-year deal in the salary range of the lower Generation adidas contract offers given to college underclassmen ahead of the 2012 MLS Draft.

Having earned his first and only senior national team cap in November of 2010, Agbossoumonde is one of the best young defensive prospects in the U.S. national team pool, but a lack of regular playing time has slowed his growth as a player and could wind up costing him a chance to star on the Olympic team. As it stands, the centerback options in the Olympic pool are thin and Agbossoumonde should have a chance to earn a regular role, especially if he finds consistent playing time.

That is something the Carolina Railhawks could provide if they can complete a deal for the U.S. youth international.

  • The Imperative Voice

    I’d be interested who the source was for the article. MLS has little interest, other than an EJ situation where a signing becomes a backpedal, in publicizing the fact of a failed approach after the fact. It sounds more like Traffic or Boss’s interest(s) to make this public.

    He’s a Gooch-type physical specimen with apparently a decent soccer mind, which is what probably makes him still attractive to anyone as a U-23 prospect who’s still not found a home. In England you’d be washing out kids by his age who can’t land somewhere.

    But a GA offer is not a bad offer for an unproven US YTeamer who is high on potential and low on proof, has no college record to point to, etc. And from a negotiations standpoint you wonder if this was (a) the first offer; (b) a signal that MLS is not going to up its offer for the same player it keeps asking and getting refused by; (c) Traffic trying to snow him somemore; and/or (d) a wise move for someone who may need
    MLS next season.

    He reminds me of Ibeagha, who keeps turning down the Dynamo for Duke on the apparent theory that if he blows up at one of these US YT tourneys he can write his own ticket. But the pool is increasingly professionalized and it seems to me that only a well-schooled and fit player is going to make the impression necessary to land a worthwile European deal. Which creates a Catch 22 of whether you almost need a pro perch now to leverage the international YT tourneys into a next move.


  • Chris

    This continues to be a terrible situation for him. He should never have signed with Traffic. Let this be a lesson to other young players: Get yourself in a pro academy at an early age and work your way up to the $$$. You’ll get games at every level and God willing a good payday later on.


  • Alexandria

    Umm slaves had no choice no right and couldn’t walk away this Guy has all three and he’s getting paid. This isn’t slavery its beyond the most insensitive comparison go visit the slavery museums you need to educate yourself.


  • Joamiq

    This is only dumb if MLS is for some reason not an option for him next year, and I have no reason to think that’s the case. If I were him I’d probably do the same thing. Why lock yourself into another commitment before you get out from under Traffic?


  • Alexandria

    Life is all about risks but what happens if he doesn’t make the team. Secondly I love all the talk about what he deserves if it was your money how much would you pay him? I’d low ball him and make him work that’s how it is in the real world. If you pay totally on potential you get Kwame Brown.


  • inkedAG

    This is a huge gamble. I won’t be surprised if Gale rides off into the sunset. He hasn’t had a steady team or playing time since he’s signed for Traffic. Whatever, it’s his life.


  • The Imperative Voice


    All due respect but I don’t need the education. Read this ESPN article entitled, “Regrets, he’s had a few.”

    For example, “‘They own my rights, unfortunately,’ he said. ‘I have to do what they say and I have to play for what team they say — whatever they work out. I pretty much don’t have a say in what my career is right now.'”

    Or, “‘Whatever trial I go on,’ Agbossoumonde said, ‘the team says, ‘Yes, we want to bring him back,’ and then every time they [Traffic] up the money of what they want. I know the team wants me to stay there and then what I hear from Traffic is that it didn’t work out.'”

    So, does he really have a choice? The article is a litany of trials and attempts to land somewhere, where a few times he starts to feel comfortable but no long term deal ever seems to get worked out. He’s been in this position for 3 years, since spring 2009. That’s 3/4 of the MLS contracts some see as so cruel to their signatories. He may be getting paid but he appears to have less control over his future than 99% of MLS players, or even you or I in our careers. You want to disagree with me on the semantics fine but it’s close enough to player slavery for me. And I think we should be wary of new versions of slavery, not use use historical definitions as an excuse for basically removing control of a player’s life for 4 years. It makes MLS look inviting in comparison.


  • KL

    Rusin already played in Scandinavia previously. He was known. His team in Denmark bought him for only 20k based on his past. Not for playing on a crap team in a crap league.

    Europe only watches MLS games.


  • KL

    MLS is as good as Scandinavia. Stop with the inferiority complex. That is the cancer killing American soccer.

    Stop kissing Europe’s arse!!!


  • veejay

    So what kind of $ deal did he sign with traffic? Was it better than if he had gone ga in the first case?


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