The once-promising, quickly derailed career of Gale Agbossoumonde might be getting back on the right track. The former U-20 centerback signed a contract with Major League Soccer and will be assigned to a team through a weighted lottery later today.
Toronto FC are the heavy favorites for “Boss,” with the LA Galaxy, the Seattle Sounders, FC Dallas, and two other teams also entering. UPDATE: TFC wins.
Wherever he ends up, Agbossoumonde will finally have some stability. He signed with Traffic after turning pro, bouncing from Sporting Braga to Estoril Praia to Djurgarden to Eintracht Frankfurt. A year ago, he turned down a contract from MLS, choosing to play for the Carolina Railhawks. He was hurt for most of the season, however, and did not see much time on the field. (More about his long trip here.)
At his best, Agbossoumonde can be a dominant defender. He’s strong in the air and quick, earning a senior team cap in 2010 when the American’s traveled to South Africa for the Nelson Mandela Cup. (Juan Agudelo won his first cap in that game as well.)
But the 21-year-old talent needs playing time. He hasn’t played regularly, well, really ever, and struggled during the U-20 World Cup qualification in Guatemala. Ironically, his difficulties — playing while running toward his goal, distribution — are quite similar to those of Oguchi Onyewu, another massive centerback who has been injury prone and is working to come back.
But overall, this is a good move for the league and the player. MLS gets a guy who could develop into an excellent defender and Agbossoumonde gets a home to call his own. With patience and training, he could go far.