Molde: Looks to be young Spencer's destination. - Alex Grimm
A promising Academy player is most likely on his way to Europe.
After going on a trial in November with Norwegian Tippeligaen club Molde FK, Chivas USA Academy forward Ben Spencer appears ready to sign a contract with the club in the next few months. Several American journalists who have information of the situation, from Top Drawer Soccer's J.R. Eskilson to Yanks-Abroad's Brian Sciaretta, tweeted out the report today, and a Norwegian source also has a report on it today (Norwegian), complete with a picture of Spencer in Molde training gear.
Spencer, 17, who has been with the Chivas USA Academy, as well as previously with the Real Salt Lake Academy, committed to UC Santa Barbara, but always looked like he would be making the direct jump to the pro level. The shift in policy at Chivas USA, coupled with the sticky situation over his homegrown player rights in MLS, meant that his chances of ever signing a pro contract with the Goats were slim. On top of that, he has consistently been a U.S. youth international, and arguably, getting a shot with Molde, featuring a budding American star in Josh Gatt, an up-and-coming coach in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and in a position as a two-time defending champion of the league is a much better opportunity than anything in MLS could provide.
This season with the U17/18 Chivas USA team, Spencer has scored three goals in just two games, which puts him second on the team in that category. Last season, playing up a division with the U17/18s, he scored 12 goals in 19 games, also good for second on the team.
Sciaretta noted on twitter that Spencer's contract situation may drag out a bit, as he will not be 18 until March, but from all accounts, it looks like it is happening. It will be Chivas USA's loss, but hopefully Spencer can hit the ground running in Norway and blossom as a pro.
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