Major League Soccer

Report: U.S. U-20 forward Jeremy Ebobisse signs with MLS


A U.S. Under-20 Men’s National team forward is set to begin his MLS journey, although it will come with a bit of a wait.

According to the Washington Post, Duke forward Jeremy Ebobisse has withdrawn from college in favor of signing a contract with MLS as a Generation Adidas signing. Per MLS rules, Ebobisse will be available in January’s MLS Draft, where he is expected to be one of the first few names off the board.

Until then, the forward is expected to train with either D.C. United or the USL’s Richmond Kickers, the two teams closest to the 19-year-old’s home of Bethesda, MD. If Ebobisse temporarily joins the Kickers, the forward would be eligible for USL action, but he cannot officially join an MLS team until he is selected in January’s MLS Draft.

Formerly a high school teammate of Gedion Zelalem, Ebobisse’s decision to leave school reportedly comes after several trials with European clubs. According to the Washington Post, the forward participated in a trial with Bob Bradley’s Le Havre.

In his sophomore season with the Blue Devils, Ebobisse served as a team captain and scored seven goals while adding four assists.

Internationally, Ebobisse has enjoyed a bit of a hot streak with the U-20s. The forward scored the game-winning goal in the team’s 2-1 victory over Japan in last months NTC Invitational after scoring in the two prior games against Panama and Costa Rica.

What do you think of the deal? How will Ebobisse fare in MLS?

Share your thoughts below.

  • johnnyrazor

    This seems disappointing, given the hype surrounding his play for the U20 this Summer. Not that he is signing with MLS, but that the European clubs didn’t view him as ready. Word out of Sonderjyske was “we hoped he’d be a little further given he has also played for the US U20 team”.

    This almost certainly means he’ll be playing in Chicago next season, and although Paunovic had success working with Serbian Youth teams from 2011-2015, the club has shown little desire to put a decent product on the pitch.


    • slowleftarm

      He’d probably be more ready if he hadn’t wasted the last two years in the developmental wasteland known as NCAA ball.


  • Adam

    interesting timing. could it be that he was not eligible (academically? professional ties? etc?) to play NCAA this year? not meant to start rumors, but “odd” timing that’s all


    • Anthony

      I am Duke alum. It is definitely not academics. He was all-ACC Academic last season. Word is (through the Duke pipeline after talking to some friends) was that it was more an issue as his head was turned going pro and being at Duke was probably not in his best interest, developmentally. At least that was what is going around about a couple kids – I couldn’t get specific names.

      Keep in mind, this is the 2nd kid Duke has lost this year alone to go pro – they lost incoming freshman Will Pulisic to Dortmund a couple months ago. You gotta wonder if the kid that they have with USMNT U19 is getting his head turned as well. Also keep in mind, he was Zelalem’s high school teammate. He’s got to be thinking ” I know 2 guys playing in Europe (Zelalem and Will Pulisic), I was named captain as a sophomore, 2nd team regional all-american while in the best collegiate soccer conference, and led all of US Soccer Development Academy in goals scored…I’m too good for this level…I should be pro…” At least, I would be thinking that :)…

      I think it’s a smart move as long as Duke lets him come back if professional soccer does not pan out. Generation Adidas players have guaranteed scholarships to continue their college education should their professional career not pan out so he has not lost the $100,000 post tax Duke scholarship for the next 2 years. If I were 15 or so years younger and had national team level talent, I would definitely try to become a Generation Adidas signing or sign abroad. If neither worked, then I would stay in college.


      • Anthony

        Oops..make that 3. Duke also lost incoming freshman (Matthew Olusunde) to Manchester United. Say what what you will about John Kerr, he can recruit and know talent: Will Pulisic, Matthew Olosunde, Jeremy Ebobisse and Colby Agu all on the same college team. That is scary. Not to mention all the other all-american level talent they already have.


      • Anthony

        I also did some research when I got home from work. Apparently, he had to be an underclassman to get the Generation Adidas deal (even though he also has a signed contract with Nike now).

        He is technically still a sophomore because he has not started his junior year yet (he is also really young for a rising junior — 19). He is essentially signing up now to get the last 2 years of guaranteed tuition covered by Generation Adidas if professional soccer does not work out. You cannot do that as a upper classman. I think his preference would have been to end up at Le Havre with Bob Bradley; it is a higher level and more money.


  • Scott e Dio93

    Hopefully the right team will develop him into true “BEAST”, not focus on him playing out position.


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