Charlie Kelman has signed a professional contract with Southend United after introducing himself to the club’s fans with a wonder goal this weekend.
The U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team forward scored from his own half against Plymouth Argyle on his league debut in Southend’s 3-2 loss this past weekend.
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The 17-year-old striker earned his way to the senior team with good performances with the club’s youth teams. Kelman scored 18 goals in 21 games at the lower levels for Southend.
“It’s a dream. I used to be a season ticket holder at Southend and I used to sit there with my friends and think ‘I want to get out there’,” Kelman told the Southend club website.
“The hard work starts now, more so than before I got my contract. Now it’s time to kick on and show that I’m not just about the goal [against Plymouth], but I can be consistently scoring goals and hopefully have a good career.”
The England-born Kelman qualifies to play for the United States by virtue of his American father, and earned his first U.S. youth national team call-up last year with the USMNT U-18s. Kelman spent time living in the United States, and spent part of that time in the FC Dallas youth academy setup.
Kelman and Southend United will visit Bradford City on Saturday where the youngster will hope to impress once again.