Photo by Trevor Ruszkowski/USA Today Sports
By DAN KARELL
After spending a few days training to stay fit with Stabæk, A.J. Soares has reportedly joined up with another Norwegian club in a bid to earn a contract.
According to a report in Norwegian publication Aftenbladet, Soares is jetting off to La Manga in Murcia, Spain, for a trial with Viking FK. The 26-year-old center back, who holds an Italian passport, is expected to arrive at the club’s warm-weather training camp on Friday.
“This is a player we have checked very carefully, and it will surprise me if he is not good enough for us,” Viking sporting director Arne Larsen Økland told Aftenbladet.
Viking head coach Kjell Jonevret said in the report that he reached out to former New York Red Bulls head coach Hans Backe for a scouting report on Soares.
“We’ll see (if he signs), but it will be interesting to talk to him and see him in action,” Jonevret said. “I’ve talked a bit with Hans Backe, who knows football and feedback is that he certainly is worth taking a look at. My impression is that he is a technically good player who wants to play soccer.”
Playing in the Eliteserien, Norway’s 16-team first division, Viking finished in 10th place in 2014. The 2015 season begins on April 6.
Soares, a free agent since his contract with the New England Revolution expired in December, nearly joined Italian side Hellas Verona but the deal apparently fell apart at the 11th hour.
Soares made 119 appearances in all competitions for the Revolution, forming a strong partnership the last two years with Revolution center back Jose Goncalves.
What do you think of this report? Do you see Soares signing in Norway? Do you see this helping him break into the U.S. Men’s National Team?
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