The Yale University sports web site is reporting that Max Morice is leaving the school's soccer team after signing a contract to play for Stade Rennes, a team in France's top division.
Morice, whose father Pierre played for the Minnesota Thunder and lives in Stillwater, went to Shattuck-St. Mary's in Faribault and played there in a developmental program that was outside the jurisdiction of the Minnesota State High School League.
As a freshman, the midfielder played in all 17 games for Yale, starting in 14 of them.
In a press release on YaleBulldogs.com, soccer coach Brian Tompkins said: "Max has a deeper passion for soccer than any kid I have ever met, and we knew when we recruited him that his lifelong dream was to follow his father's footsteps into a professional career. Although the timing of his move to the professional game was sooner than expected, it shows a recognition by Rennes of Max's superb talents.
The rest of the release is here.
The soccer website mls4mn.com explains why the Morice signing should be greeted with excitement by Minnesotans who are interested in bringing a Major League Soccer team to the state, perhaps in conjunction with the construction of the new Vikings stadium.
From a new post on the web site: "The reason this should get Minnesotan soccer fans excited is that academy products are different than high school stars made good. Academies can belong to a pyramid of soccer that begins at the lowest rung of youth players, moves up through academies, and upward to an MLS team with its associated U-16, U-18, and U-23 teams. Having an MLS team at the top of that pyramid not only gives those youth prospects role models, it provides them with a ladder to move through the ranks of the profession (by becoming home grown players with that team)."
Read the rest of that post here.