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Pro Prospects: New French-American emerges

Article Written by J.R. Eskilson
Published: October 17, 2013

The U.S. Soccer scouting network is in high gear, and another youth prospect just fell into the laps of the Federation.

Nico Bildgen, a talented striker in France, is the latest addition to the list. Agents in France have been buzzing about the star from Torcy who is enjoying a great season with his club.

TopDrawerSoccer.com confirmed with the 15-year-old that he was a U.S. citizen earlier this week. Bildgen said that he was born in Los Angeles in 1997, which would make him eligible for the current U18 Men’s National Team.

Bildgen’s entire organized playing career has been in France. The teenager said that his French father is the reason he is in France now. He added that his youth career started with Lesigny. His current club, Torcy, is competing in what he called the national championship. 

Bildgen said he has not received any contact for U.S. Soccer or any other federation in terms of a youth national team call up. Sources have indicated to TopDrawerSoccer.com that U.S. Soccer is aware of him at this point.

Christian Ibeagha, americans abroad, yanks abroadChristian Ibeagha

Typically, the scouts for U.S. Soccer will review tape of the player before any decision is made on a call up. There has been no indication that this stage has been reached with Bildgen yet.

The humble forward simply said that his “season is going well,” when asked about 2013 campaign, but the direct reply hides a bit of the thrill about the prospect. Some of the prominent clubs in France have taken notice of his year including Saint Etienne, a Ligue 1 side that finished fifth last year.

Former ACC standout signs in Europe

Christian Ibeagha, a former standout for Duke, recently signed with Bohemians 1905, a side in the Czech top division, the Gambrinus Liga. The Prague-based squad was recently promoted to the top flight in professional soccer in the Czech Republic.

Ibeagha is a defender who has had interest from MLS in the past, but spent the last few months in Europe on trial at a few clubs that his agency, International PRO Management, set up for him. Ibeagha impressed at his previous stops, but he found the right place with the historic Czech Republic side.

The 23-year old Nigerian-American will be with the club for the next two seasons.

Junior Flores appears with Dortmund

Former U.S. U17 Men’s National Team midfielder Junior Flores made a big splash this week when he suited up with the Dortmund first team for a friendly against Koln on Tuesday.

Flores played 45 minutes and exited the game with Dortmund holding a 2-0 lead. Koln scored in the second half to cut the lead to 2-1, which ended up as the final scored.

Steven Goff of the Washington Post reported that Flores was called into the recent U18 MNT camp in Carson, Calif. earlier this month, but declined so he could train with Dortmund. Barring a special exception from FIFA, Flores will officially join Dortmund when he turns 18 on March 26. 

 
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