Perhaps it would be easiest to describe 13-year-old soccer standout Badr Seyam as a YouTube sensation.
The teenager from Kansas has a plethora of video clips online that have garnered thousands of views. The dynamic attacking talent is seen embarrassing opponents with his slick skills.
Now, Seyam is proving his quality on the international stage as the youngster from Wichita has spent the last month in Europe going on trials with a number of the world’s top academies.
From Arsenal to Hamburg to Basel, Seyam is jumping all over the continent as teams line up to get a look at the youngster.
“I was invited by Manchester United [too] but they have different rules,” Seyam told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “They are very strict about the European passport. They may find a way in the future. Also, Manchester City contacted us before . . . they would like to see me in the future.”
Seyam said that his “FIFA agent” set up this trip through Europe and organized it so he could see as many clubs as possible in an one-month span to make it easy on his school schedule.
“Actually, all of the academies that I have trained with have impressed me and they are the top youth academies in the world,” Seyam added. “They have a lot of very good talent and great players. Every academy has a different style, but the one that has impressed me the most is the Arsenal Academy.”
The Kansas ODP standout and former Sporting Kansas City Academy player ended his stay with Arsenal on Sunday, and began his trial with Hamburg SV on Monday.
All of these brief training stops are building up to something though, as Seyam has set the goal of making the move to a top academy when he turns 14 years old in 2013.
“This is the beginning for me to start going to Europe and play and train with very good quality kids,” he said. “This is also my first experience here in Europe, I have learned a lot about how to become a professional in the future.”
The interest on the domestic side has not been as hot as the curiosity for the youngster in Europe. Seylam told TopDrawerSoccer.com that U.S. Soccer has not contacted him about any future national team camp.
“They may [have] never heard of me, or they have never seen me play,” he said. “I will be glad to serve my country.”
Three Academy players sign Homegrown deals
Amando Moreno and Santiago Castano signed professional contracts with New York Red Bulls via the Homegrown Player rule on Tuesday. Castano is the starting goalkeeper with the Red Bulls U18 side. He was part of the U.S. U17 Men’s National Team Residency Program in 2010.
Moreno is a winger who has burst onto the scene in the recent months with stellar performances at the club and national team level. The 17-year-old was one of the stars of the U.S. U18 MNT camp at the Home Depot Center last month with head coach Javier Perez gushing about the qualities of the debutant.
Not to be outdone, LA Galaxy finally inked a professional contract with defender Oscar Sorto on Tuesday. The 18-year-old was originally committed to play this season at CSU Bakersfield, but withdrew from the school at the last moment and told the coaches that he would be signing with Galaxy. Four months later, AEG vice president and LA Galaxy Academy Director Chris Klein finally linked the deal with Sorto.
Maki Tall called into another camp with France U18 Men’s National Team
This week, U.S.-born striker Maki Tall was called into another camp with the France U18 Men’s National Team. Tall’s first call-up came last month where he appeared in an international tournament in Portugal. The Le Mans FC prospect ended the tourney as the top scorer.
The U.S. is keeping tabs on the player and wanted to get him into the November U18 camp at the Home Depot Center, but Tall could not get time off from school to attend the event.