Miguel Almiron’s transfer to Newcastle was a watershed moment for MLS players who dream of making a big move to Europe. In a similar vein, Mathias Jorgensen‘s transfer to the New York Red Bulls is the latest sign that MLS is a destination, even for young European players.
The Red Bulls announced early Tuesday morning the signing of the 18-year-old Danish forward, making him one of the highest rated players to leave Europe at a young age for greener pastures in MLS. Whether just to get into the Red Bull system or not, Jorgensen’s move is a risk for all involved, one that could pay off greatly in the next few years for both club and player, or one that could discourage others to make a similar move until they’re well established.
Jorgensen, the Red Bulls announced, was signed with Targeted Allocation Money, meaning he doesn’t count against the team’s Designated Player quota.
After debuting for Odense BK in his native Denmark in 2017, he became a regular in the gameday squad throughout the last four months of 2018. Jorgensen made 13 appearances including four starts, scoring twice in the Danish Superliga. He’s also appeared for Denmark’s Under-18 and Under-19 National Teams.
Without a lot of professional experience, the Red Bulls are certainly taking a gamble on Jorgensen, especially because he’s signed to a multi-year deal. But he’ll have the opportunity to train every day with Bradley Wright-Phillips, one of the league’s best scorers and a veteran who can pass along some tips he learned himself from the likes of Thierry Henry. In the future, perhaps Jorgensen can be the replacement for Wright-Phillips in New York.