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Crew land U-20 USMNT midfielder Gall in weighted lottery

Romain Gall

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One of the most promising young American midfielders in Europe is leaving to join MLS.

The Columbus Crew have completed the signing of Under-20 USMNT midfielder Romain Gall from French side FC Lorient, a source told SBI. The Crew acquired Gall, a French-American, in a weighted lottery conducted by MLS.

“We feel like this is a kid with ability,” Crew head coach Gregg Berhalter told the team’s website. “19-years-old, great attacking ability, a dynamic part of the [United States] Youth National Team program. We feel like it’s a good addition to the team. We’re happy and looking forward to bringing him in.”

Gall joins the Crew on his first professional contract from the Lorient academy, where he has played since joining in 2011 after a successful trial.

Although born in France, Gall lived in Herndon, Va., from the age of seven to 16. At the age of 15, Gall received his U.S. passport and began to receive U.S. youth national team call-ups in 2012. Gall featured for the U.S. U-18s numerous times in 2012 and 2013, especially in European competitions and friendly matches, and has now moved up to the U-20s.

Gall played with the U-20s most recently at the NTC Invitational in California last July and scored one goal and one assist in the U-20s runner-up performance at this year’s Dallas Cup.


What do you think of this news? Excited to see a playmaking midfielder prospect come to MLS? Do you expect him to play much for the Crew the rest of this season?

Share your thoughts below.


    • LOrient finished in 8th
      Columbus had to be way lower than that…who do you think will win their league first ?

      And maybe just maybe that is the reason we watch him play now….nah too obvious.
      Well too obvious for some huh Job ?

    • Sorry “the MLS” it isn’t as entertaining as “the La Liga” junior. Maybe instead of bothering with allocating players, we should just let the same two teams outspend everybody and win every single year?

  1. Wouldn’t be surprised to see this kid starting for the Crew in a few weeks. Where he lines up will be interesting. He can play at wing or underneath the striker. My guess on the wing.

  2. I have no problem with top young players developing in North America (I actually prefer it in most cases) but these kinds of deals will be much better all around when every MLS team has a reserve team playing in the USL. See LA Galaxy II, Vancouver Whitecaps II next year, etc.

      • The move wouldn’t make a lot of sense to me otherwise. If he’s planning on being an academy player, why move from a more respected and more visible club in France (not to mention probably higher paying)? Young players move from their parent clubs seeking playing time that they otherwise can’t get.

      • By more visible, you mean a smaller stadium in a much smaller nation ?

        There are many other reasons he could have wanted to come home in addition to playing in front of bigger crowds…

        being in the US
        In a competitive league

      • Because Berhalter has been promising an international player who would get first team minutes, and this kid is close(ish). Dude has a future writing for an unreadable tabloid.

    • There is nothing that compels development by the pro sides, they will “take over” when they produce athletes in such a way that they deliver game-ready players better than traditional club and only people taking academics seriously or constituting a longer shot at the pros would go to college. There is not yet a competent Ajax system making its own. Until then, it’s just another road.

      The II teams addresses the U-23 bridge but not U-18 development. You still need to be building the players before they are signed, and they do that no better than traditional club right now. In fact, since the teams aren’t built down to U-10 they’re still feeding off traditional club. Until it’s more a “I want to create better soccer players from selected raw material” and less “I want to secure rights to some of the local prospects,” it’s not superior to club.

      • Academies have only been in existence for what….5 years? They started at the U-18 level as a means to transition from high school to semipro/college to the pro’s. Give the MLS academies time to work their way backwards….another 5-10 years….and they will be down to the U-10’s and be able to generate a more consistent supply of Homegrown “Game-Ready” players.
        Rome wasn’t built in a day. Development Academies take time and money to grow.

    • Put differently, a youth club team in Houston produced Stuart Holden, Brek Shea, Euan Holden, Tyler Deric, Nelson Akwari, Rusty Pierce, Eric Quill, Johnny Torres, and Imad Baba.

      Dempsey played for the Dallas Texans, not the Burn/FCD. Torres played HS and club, ditto.

      The only non-flushed homegrown on the Dynamo is Tyler Deric, who is a long term GK bench player with minimal appearanes who was poached from traditional club and HS.

  3. Love this move, hope the kids gets some run with the crew and isn’t stuck on the bench.

    The good thing about some of these former USMNT players becoming coaches is I feel they understand the need to develop the young talent and let them play and learn. Especially a guy like Berhalter who has been over seas and seen how they treat young talented players.


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