Minnesota United FC, which holds the top pick in January’s Major League Soccer SuperDraft, held an audition this week for a player considered a top prospect.
Jeremy Ebobisse is a 19-year-old forward who played two seasons at Duke before signing an MLS contract. The league loaned him to Charleston of the United Soccer League.
He trained with the Loons at the National Sports Center in Blaine. Watching on Wednesday from the press box was Minnesota United owner Bill McGuire, sporting director Manny Lagos and recently appointed academy director Tim Carter.
“He’s a smart young man with a great personality,” Lagos said. “It was a unique situation that allows him to train with us.”
Ebobisse scored seven goals in 19 matches as a sophomore at Duke and earned all-ACC honors. He tallied a goal and an assist in five matches with Charleston this season before joining the U.S. Under-20 national team for the Four Nations Tournament in England. He tallied a hat trick in a 5-3 loss to the Netherlands.
United FC veterans came away impressed by a younger player who could be a key part of the club’s move to MLS next season.
“He’s good finisher,” said Christian Ramirez, the North American Soccer League leader with 18 goals this season. “You can see he’s got a knack for goals.”
“He’s a good young player,” defender Justin Davis said. “You can tell he’s a goal scorer. You could see the skill there. If the club decides to go that way, I think he’ll be an asset for us.”
Joining Ebobisse as a projected top SuperDraft pick are UCLA junior forward Abu Danladi and Bruins teammate Jackson Yueill, a sophomore midfielder and Bloomington native. Yueill has trained with Minnesota the past two summers.
Ebobisse wasn’t made available for comment. He spoke about the SuperDraft in September to the Charleston Post Courier.
“Would I like to be the No. 1 pick? Of course, who wouldn’t?” Ebobisse said. “But I’m more interested in going to a team where I can get games, because at my age that’s the most important thing. I want to develop as a player and get better, so going to a team where I can do those things is really important.”
Midfielder/defender Jeb Brovsky suffered a torn ACL in his left knee Oct. 22 at Carolina and will miss the rest of the season. The loss, coach Carl Craig said, goes beyond the field.
“It’s a massive loss because what a character he is,” Craig said. “Everyone out there wants to win but he displays it all the time. He’d run through brick walls – metaphorically – to get things done. He’s spent so much time on the treatment table and he takes injections to get on the field. This kid just wants to get it done.”
Brovsky, who played for NYC FC of Major League Soccer last season, had started every match he played in this season for United. He tallied 2,174 minutes in 26 appearances while completing 86.1 percent of his passes.
The 27-year-old heads into an uncertain offseason sidelined by injury as Minnesota United FC builds its MLS roster for next season.
“It’s tough at any age but he’s not a young lad anymore. I have no doubt in me mind he’ll fight for it but a year away from the game, people have short memories,” Craig said. “So I wish him all the best. It’s cliché but many we can win for him.”
Forward Danny Cruz made his coaching debut memorable this season, helping as an assistant for Centennial’s successful girls’ program. The Cougars (15-0-3) take an undefeated record into the Class 2A state tournament. No. 5 seed Centennial plays No. 4 Lakeville North (13-3-2) at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at Chisago Lakes High School.