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Agbossoumonde forced to wait on move


Photo by John Dorton/

When Gale Agbossoumonde was loaned to Portuguese giant Sporting Club Braga last winter, things were looking pretty bright for the 18-year-old centerback.

His professional outlook hasn't changed, but his club status has. After a large turnover in Braga's front office and technical staff and despite Agbossoumonde showing well with the first team, the organization elected not to exercise its option to purchase Agbossoumonde from parent club Miami FC this summer, leaving him without a team after the European transfer window shut.

Meanwhile, the United States Under-20 standout is training with Portuguese second-division side G.D. Estoril Praia, along with fellow Americans Tony Taylor, Bryan Arguez and Greg Garza (who are all on-loan from Miami FC). Fernando Clavijo, now the director of soccer at Miami FC, said that within a few weeks Agbossoumonde will likely be joining a team in the Liga Intercalar, a reserve division in Portugal, in order to get some game experience prior to the opening of the next transfer window.

Disappointed that Agbossoumonde didn't stay with Braga? Where would you like to see him sign? Think it's good that he'll get some playing time regardless of the competition?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. There is false information in this post and in the comments.

    First, there was no major turnover in the front office. Antonio Salvador is the president and has been for a few years now. Also, the manager they have now is the same manager that brought in this kid and he is considered to be one of the best managers in the league. So change in staff is not the reason he was not kept by Braga.

    Those who say that its because of financial trouble are wrong as well. Braga did not go bankrupt, they are paying there players on time. They just made 12m euros for qualifying for the CL. Money is not an issue. Braga is not poor, they just spend there money wisely

    Braga already has 4 centre-halves that are better than him at this point in his career. They dont need him and he is not going to play bcs of that.

    It was probably his agent who asked Braga to let him go so that he would have an opportunity to play somewhere else and show off his skills. It is also possible that Braga wanted him back but Traffics involvement dampened their interest. Either the fee was too high or Traffic wouldnt give Braga 95% of Gale’s transfer rights. The devil is in the details.

  2. I was wondering what happened to him. He made the bench a few times last season for Braga. Good to hear some news on him. He needs to stay in Europe and play for a team that wants him. Find a team that wants you. It is as simple as that. He is a good player and can break through the top division ranks in the next couple years. STAY IN EUROPE.

  3. Shhhhhhhhh…don’t tell the Brits! And don’t remind them that they finished second tothe friggin’ woeful Americans in their group in South Africa.

  4. Whatever man, keep making those personal attacks. Braga has been in the top 5 all but once last 7 seasons. I am not a fan of them or anything, but I am very aware that Braga is a decent team and the biggest team after “the big three”, so just go ahead and tell me to stay and watch USL or any other insult you want to hurl at me, just like you did to Ives or whoever else wrote the article just because you did not like how he described Braga as a “Portuguese Giant”…i’ll go kick rocks now, and watch WNBA

  5. I am entitled to my opinion in an open forum. You can kick rocks if you don’t like it. Braga is your giant in Portuguese football, good for you. The writer who ever he is obviously has no idea what he is talking about so (just like you) he should stick to WPS, USL and MLS. And if Braga wanted this kid, they would have signed him. I think American journalists are the reason all these kids are delusional with their talent. All Ive heard is he did good. Well guess what if he did do that good, he would be on Braga’s roster not heading to division two. American talent is not there yet, take the constructive criticism for what it is.

  6. How about you don’t make any personal attacks, no one is forcing you to read this. BTW Braga is consistently in the top 4-5 for the last what …8 years ? They are not as big as Benfica, Porto or Sporting… but the are the biggest after those three.

  7. You don’t know to much about Braga do you? it is NOT a rich club, so we have no idea if Traffic was asking for a transfer fee or not.
    Everything i have read in portuguese media was good about him, he is 18, not to many teams splurge on young CBs

  8. Who is this guy that wrote this piece? You are oblivious about European Football if you ever call Sporting Braga a giant club in Portuguese football. Do you know the definition of a giant? A giant that has never won the domestic league. Stick to writing MLS. Plus if Braga wants this kid, they will sign him. If he REALLY played well like you said – as if you were in Portugal when he played – he won’t be getting offers from a SECOND division team.

  9. dont understand how its in the interest of MLS to support players that move abroad? whats with the kid gloves? if they can cut it, they will.

  10. People here are always puzzled as to why talented North American players don’t make it in Europe.

    But if you grew up over there and moved here, it’s not even remotely surprising.

    North American players are simply different: usually more naturally athletic, stronger, faster, and good at the obvious ball skills.

    But the intangibles that kids are taught from an early age in England and Europe simply seem to be missing from players here. THe most common among these:

    a) First touch. North American players spend more time chasing bad first touches instead of being able to control and move almost in one motion.

    b) reading the game and moving off the ball. Here, it always seems to be about intensity on the ball, and the natural pre-inclination to find a useful space to be away from the play (and in space) doesn’t seem valued.

    c) Marking out. I couldn’t believe when I moved here and everyone expected me to dive into tackles immediately (giving a skilled player his chance to beat you in a tactically bad area) instead of just marking the player out.

    To a professional team in Europe, these are baseline essentials to being an effective pro. If anyone wants to know why Freddy Adu will never make it, watch what he’s doing off the ball. When it’s in his zone, he works reasonable hard, despite not being fast, and he has good ball skills. He even has, by North American standards, a really good first touch.

    But his movement off the ball tactically is friggin woeful. Seriously. And it’s true of MLS-raised players in general. If you want to know why an occasional MLS game looks great when they often look like a jumbled mess, it’s because it’s the uncommon occasion of a team working in unison, which includes those away from the play.

    If you’re not moving off the ball, you’re not staying ahead of the ball’s movement tactically and a good team will cut you up. Thus, every trip just about in history by an MLS team to mexico.

  11. well that stinks. hopefully he’s get it all sorted out soon. so that’s where bryan arguez is now, hadn’t heard much since he left the Bundesliga.

  12. Players like Gale and Garza (not sure about the other 2) are still in the rough developmental portion of their careers. Personally I like the idea that they’re training and learning within a more technically oriented league. When they are brought into the US National Team camps (be they youth or senior) they’ll gain the more physical aspects of the game in CONCACAF. If they keep developing their technical abilities in Portugal they’ll be able to make moves in 2-4 years to the English, Spanish, German, or Italian leagues with a better opportunity to make impact with the 1st teams rather than riding the Pine like most of those who make the transition from MLS to Europe at a young age.

  13. He was basically playing in the Liga Intercalar with Braga’s reserves last year, so I don’t think his situation is going to change that much.

  14. taylor hasnt changed.
    Arguez has really only made 1 change (though for a while he was rumored many places)
    Gale endured a loan at the age of 18 to one of portugals top teams. He’s improved leaps and bounds in comparison to prior to the loan

    i do agree with your point. This is why i was glad jozy buckled down at villareal rather then taking another loan

  15. I hope Gale, Taylor, Arguez and other Traffic Sports guys like Jerome find a team that they could stay at for the forseable future even if it is in the MLS. I don’t think it is great for their careers constantly changing teams like this.

  16. i could be wrong, but i am under the impression that Braga didnt have any affiliation with Traffic. Estoril is one of Traffics many teams, but i dont recall the connection with Braga…again i could be wrong

  17. This article is very misleading and rather uninformed.

    This has everything to do with Traffic owning the kids, and keeping them over there. Braga was almost bankrupted, and they definitely didn’t have the time or money to be keeping very young foreign kids.

  18. how many USL players get sold abroad?? no, Miami would have been a LAST resort. And if i was a player signed to Traffic and they put me in Miami, id be assuming that they’ve lost confidence in me.

  19. Traffic has done well enough to get loans for players like Tony, Garza and Boss. Plus they’ve also managed to get out of favored Arguez another shot. Saying that Traffic does own Estoril so obtaining loans is easy enough, but they have faith in the players enough to sign them and test them abroad.

    Is Traffic perfect?? of course not, but they are also doing a decent job of getting our boys into systems. You might not like the fact that its not a prime team in a top league, but most people dont start that way.

  20. Braga hit financial woes and front office changes. The kid performed well. He’s training, which is all we can ask for atm.

    Boss has received high marks by officials in Portugal, fellow teammates and even so much as fellow U20 candidate, Alex Molano, who stated Boss was one of the best CB’s he’s faced (while in camp during the milk cup).

    Lets not get carried away with these turn of events. Boss has a bright future ahead of him, and the U20’s to showcase his talents.

  21. Well the problem is MLS season is over, so no point for him to come to MLS until next season.
    At this point he’s better playing in European reserves till the January window hits, and assess his options at that time.

  22. It’s a shame that G.A. will be wasting away when he could easily be playing in the MLS for the time being. Sure, he’s got European aspirations, but I bet he’d get more face time with an MLS team than in a Portuguese reserve league.

  23. Nothing wrong with an 18 year old playing in reserve leagues.
    I saw this kid play, he’s good and has a lot of potential. He’s basically a more technical Gooch, though I don’t like these types of comparisons.
    If he continues to work hard and doesn’t get injured, I don’t see any reason he won’t be in a decent league in 3-4 years.
    CB tend to mature a bit older, you don’t see that many 18-20 year old CBs starting in Europe.
    I’m not too concerned at this point and just happy he’s getting some PT whatever the level.
    January should open his options a bit.

  24. That Sporting Braga dropped Gale A. will serve to motivate him even more. I’ve read he’s a talent with huge upside. The more Americans competing in Europe (even the lesser leagues) the better the chance that a few develop into great players for MNT and find their way onto the rosters of big clubs.

  25. All of them should’ve stayed in Miami. Miami could’ve used them. The team might’ve done better. Then the players would’ve actually been sellable, rather than loaning them around before they were really good enough to get picked up by a Euro team.

    I’m starting to get concerned that Traffic is as good for US players as they are at selling soccer in Miami.

  26. The biggest problem I would image is that fact that we’re full of hack agents who farm our boys out to these third and second division teams. I think the US needs a better networking system and support from the USSF and MLS to better support transfers of young players.

    And let’s not kid ourselves, only a few are really good enough to play at the top level – just because they’re sent out, doesn’t mean they can handle it.

    And African players suffer the same fate from what I can tell – agents promising them European action and they wind up in poor leagues or lower divisions.

  27. I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. I feel the same way, but as stories like this, yanks not being able to land on a starting roster, keep happening it leads me to believe that the players just aren’t as good as we want to believe. Its not like there’s some conspiracy that keeps our guys in 2nd and 3rd division teams.

    If they’re good, and can work hard, they will find a team. If not, then I guess they’ll pull an Adu and float around from place to place.

    If Boss is truly La Liga talent, he’ll end up in La Liga.

  28. I believe they are owned or partly owned by a company called Traffic, who’s business is basically just scouting, buying, and selling players.

  29. I usually like to focus on the positives, but this is dissapointing. I’m sick of of our players playing for second division Danish teams, and third division English teams. I’m not saying that I’m not proud of all our boys in Europe. I just wished we had more players in Serie A, and La Liga. These guys are working their hardest to get to that level, and I have nothing but respect for all of them.

  30. At some point can you get into what Miami FC is up to with these players. These are guys who’ve never played there and aren’t likely to. This just a transfer farm?


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