American Exports: College star Rolfe to trial in Sweden
AMSTERDAM — University of Louisville strike ace Colin Rolfe is slated to begin an audition with Swedish top-flight club Djurgårdens next week.
The 21-year-old is coming off a junior season that saw the Cardinals finish as NCAA runners-up. Rolfe was honored with a second straight All-American nod and a third-place finish in Hermann Trophy voting after leading his team with nine goals and seven assists.
"He's coming on Sunday and staying for a week," Djurgårdens press officer Jonas Riedel told MLSsoccer.com. "We need some goals, so we need a striker. We're looking for a couple of players for when the window opens in summer."
The Blue Stripes have gotten off to a rough start this season, notching just one win and eight goals over the first 10 matches.
Manager Magnus Pehrsson is no stranger to Rolfe or to buying American, having snapped up Marcus Tracy from the college ranks and Chicago Fire free agent Chris Rolfe (no relation) while in charge at Aalborg BK in 2009.
"Over the last few years, I have built up a large network in the US," Pehrsson told the official Djurgårdens website. "Through those contacts, we have had the opportunity to get to know Colin. I have been there to watch him live in three games and he left a very good impression. His playing style reminds me of a young Marcus Allbäck."
Allbäck, currently a Sweden national team assistant coach, may only lightly ring bells among American fans, but the comparison is a sizable compliment in his native land. Allbäck rang up 158 professional goals for the likes of Heerenveen, Aston Villa and FC Copenhagen, while netting 30 in 74 international outings for his country.
It remains unclear for now is whether Rolfe would have fellow American Gale Agbossoumonde as a teammate with a successful trial. The Swedish transfer window does not open until August 1, at which time Djurgårdens will need to deal with the US defender's expiring loan.
For now, the club are keeping their Agbossoumonde intentions close to vest.
"He still has some games left, so that is something we will discuss later on," Riedel stated. "That's up to the coach."
Currently next to last in Sweden's Allsvenskan, Djurgårdens will return from a short schedule break with a visit to IFK Göteborg a week from Monday.