Rapids land Cameroon international Eloundou in lottery
NEW YORK — Add another dangerous attacking player to the 2013 Colorado Rapids.
The club landed Cameroonian international winger Charles Betrand Etoundi Eloundou (a.k.a. Charles Eloundou) in a lottery conducted on Friday morning at MLS league headquarters. The Rapids had a 73.5 percent chance of landing the rights to the player, beating out Real Salt Lake (19.7 percent) and D.C. United (6.8 percent).
Eloundou was available to MLS clubs via lottery due to the fact that he was signed to an MLS contract before the SuperDraft, but he did not obtain his visa in time to make him available for the MLS Player Combine or the SuperDraft.
He arrives in MLS on a one-year loan from Cameroonian side AS Fortuna de Mfou with an option for a permanent transfer at the end of the 2012 season.
The pacey and skilful 18-year-old has experience with Cameroon's youth national teams (Under-17 and Under-20) and he's also spent time on loan at Cameroonian sides Unisport FC (nine goals in 20 matches last year) and Cotonsport.
"He's a young kid who can play either left wing or right or maybe even underneath a lone striker," Rapids technical director Paul Bravo told MLSsoccer.com on Friday. "He's explosive and he's got good technique. And for a '94 [player], he's got a lot of great starting points that made it well worth it for us getting involved in this lottery."
Eloundou was called up as part of the Cameroon senior squad for an upcoming friendly on February 6 in Dar es Salaam alongside the likes of world stars Samuel Eto'o and Alex Song. The Rapids expect him to join their preseason training camp by the second week of February.
"He's built low to the ground and he's best when he's running at people," continued Bravo. "He has 1-v-1 ability and an ability to run by guys with ease."
The Rapids have built a new-look attacking line in Oscar Pareja's 4-3-3 formation as newcomers Edson Buddle, Deshorn Brown, Kevin Harbottle, Atiba Harris and Eloundou join the returning Tony Cascio and Andre Akpan.
With the addition of Eloundou, Colorado now have two international spots available on their roster for future acquisitions.