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Saad leaves Michigan to pursue pro career

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University of Michigan freshman Soony Saad, the leading scorer in NCAA Division I men's soccer in 2010 with 19 goals, has left Michigan to pursue a professional career. Saad confirmed his departure from Michigan to Fox Soccer and SBI on Thursday.

The Big Ten Freshman of the Year helped lead Michigan to the Big Ten Championship as well as the NCAA College Cup Final Four, partnering with senior Justin Meram to form one of the best striker tandems in the nation.

the 2010 Gatorade National High School Player off the Year, Saad carried over his high-scoring ways from high school to college, where he immediately established himself as one of the most dangerous forwards in the nation.

Saad identified four clubs he is in talks with for trials. Bayern Munich, Anderlecht, SC Freiburg and 1860 Munich are teams he has plans to spend time with in the coming weeks as he searches for his first professional contract.

What do you think of this development? Disappointed to see him leave college? Think he's ready to make the jump to the pros?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Seriously, Meram lifted Soony? Meram refused to pass to Soony all season because he wanted to score more goals than him before he graduated. He didn’t want to be outdone by a freshman, but in the end Soony still outscored him.

  2. Remember, a trial does not mean he has made it. All it means is that the clubs are willing to give him a look. With the right connections, most talented players can get trials. Let’s see if he lands anything before we anoint this a good move. I have watched Soony from his club days through this year at U of M. He is a great scorer but in my humble opinion, a good soccer player. He does not have great speed, he is not a threat 1 v 1, and he is not a great dribbler. He was in Bradenton with the U17 and not invited back. He went on the same tour of Europe twice that Cunningham and Gatt attended and did not close a deal although there are rumors he turned down an Academy deal with Mainz. He is not deemed worthy (at this time) of a GA deal and is not considered one of the top forwards of his class by the U20 staff. So, do I wish him not to succeed, no, but there has been feedback from many sources over that last few years that say that although he could maybe be a top talent, he is not an elite player right now. Do you go and take a flier and hope to land a deal by seeking out trials or do you stay one more year in college and see if the GA deal is forthcoming? Tough call. I wish him well. Only time will tell.

  3. I figure it like this. If a kid wants to try his hand in Europe, cool. If he wants to sign for MLS, cool. I really don’t think one person makes a team and I think all players should follow the paths they feel is right for them.

  4. So a college freshman is good enough to play in the Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2? Why isn’t MLS jumping all over this kid? I know they are just trials, but still.

  5. Have to agree with you. Saw him play against Maryland. Was ok but needs more development. I think a lot of these kids are being misguided and hopefully he did not leave school too soon without a definite contract.

  6. Because the other forwards on the U20 team are much better than him.
    Because the other candidates for a GA contract were much better than him.

    Saad is decent and has some potential, but let’s not base everything on a few goals scored, or do you think Chris Wondolowski is the answer for the USMNT?

  7. too bad MLS hasn’t thought of doing something like the NHL does. kids can get drafted out of high school but still go to college to develop if they’re not ready for “the show” and the NHL team holds there rights for an “X” amount of years, i think it’s like 4 years but i could be wrong. for example the university of minnesota has something like 18 players on there roster of around 27 or so guys that have already been drafted by NHL teams.

  8. Ives, the Fox Soccer article on Saad said he was NOT expected to make the U-20 WC roster. Why in the world would he not? He scores like it’s going out of style. Also, why was he passed up for a GA contract?

  9. It does happen in NFL and NBA but you can’t declare until after sophomore year I think. They changed the rules after Lebron came thru.

  10. Ives latest Tweet has Saad lining up tryouts in Germany with several clubs. The guy is a natural goal scorer and I hope he lands in Germany.

    I’ve seen him play and I definately think he has a bright future a head of him.

  11. A great young player could get some looks from Bayern, Arsenal, and who knows who! Maybe even get on the Reserves. Well some kids that do that might make the first team, and maybe you’ve got your next Theo Walcott; but for every young kid that ends up on the first team of a major club, how many end up left behind and end up working as bus drivers? I know lots of young players in GB toss their education away to try to make it

    Even though the USA has a lot of catching up to do in soccer, having our youth go to college is a GREAT thing because no matter how things turn out on the pitch, they are preparing for a bigger, better life. Maybe we should survey London bus drivers for perspective on this.

    So while I hope Saad develops and achieves great things, I think it is sad for a Freshman to drop out of school. I understand it, but

    Maybe we need a solution for the college-Pro gap in game quality, like doing away with the usual college conferences and having a truly elite college Premier level playing a pro-level standard; and maybe those teams should even take games against the MLS Reserves. Give guys like Saad all the development they can handle without having to leave school

    You know, spoken as a parent of a soccer player with high aspirations…

  12. re: Doyle; Yeah, but most of those appearances are sub appearances. He’s the leading scorer in the Reserve divsion, ffs.

    re: Wood; how the hell do you know? Everyone who’s seen him play is awfully impressed with him. I’m one of those people.

    I find your statement re: McBride curious. Altidore has the same goals/appearances ratio as McBride and the ratio tends to increase as forwards get older.

    It’s very possible that Saad will score goals wherever he goes–and I hope he does! But the competition at u-20 is very strong; to wit:

    These guys are all pros; many have made professional appearances; Agudelo has scored a goal for the USMNT. It’s very good competition.

    So Saad needs to go abroad and impress in order to distinguish himself.

  13. What makes you say “the majority” think that?

    Plenty of young Americans are playing in Europe and not “riding the pine” but playing with reserve teams and whatnot.

  14. Okay but Conor Doyle is at Derby County, not U of Michigan. There is a big difference.

    Let’s see where Saad ends up before… holy crap I just read the rest of your comment and you appear to think “top intercollegiate competition” is actually worthwhile. Well, you are wrong. Anyone who wants to be a professional should get their asses out of there as fast as possible… just like Soony Saad.
    I just noticed your screen name is Big Ten Soccer, okay dude, call a time out before the clock runs down to 0 and sub in Bobby Wood, maybe then you’ll see how much better he is than the vast majority of college soccer players.

  15. SO zero goals in 10 appearances for Derby County for Doyle. The US being “stacked” with good forwards is an oxymoron. The Milk Cup ? You mean wins over powerhouses Northern Ireland and Denmark. I really like Agudela and think Salgado has a chance. I would bet you that Bobby Wood would not score 19 goals against top intercollegiate competition had he chosen to go that route and not sure the other players would either. We have not produced a striker in this country since Brian McBride because we follow the same pattern of trying to make goal scorers out of players we think fit the bill. Soony Saad will score goals wherever he goes. He is just that guy!

  16. i cant believe im saying this but our talent pool is keeping up with expansion. There are some pretty good young players that will ride pine this year bc their teams are so deep. (rbny will have a few)


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