Could DC United sign intriguing U.S. U-17 captain to pro deal?

USSoccer.com
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There’s a story on the MLS web site today that has many layers of interest for American soccer fans of both club and country.

Center mid and defender Chris Durkin turned 16 in February and has captained the United States U-17 national team.

He’s also made his debut — in 2015 — for the professional Richmond Kickers who, due to the very close relationship between MLS and USL, serve as something akin to a farm team for DC. Richmond is allowed to use up to five Academy players in USL play.

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There’s been talk in DC circles that Durkin could sign a Homegrown Player deal with United, with head coach Ben Olsen going as far as to say, “We think he belongs here”.

Many U.S. fans have clamored for players to hit the professional ranks sooner, so MLS has rookies that hit the league before the age of 22 or 23, and plenty of critics claim the American collegiate system might be fine for the development of many players, but that stars need to hit higher levels sooner.

The Washington Post’s Steven Goff says Durkin is also eyeing opportunities in Europe — he’s trained with Inter Milan earlier this year — but, due to the player’s status as a member of the U.S. residency program, such chances need to jive with both schedules.

For what it’s worth, Durkin did RT Goff’s story: