It's taken them almost a year, but the Colorado Rapids believe they finally have their man.
The Rapids announced on Tuesday that they have signed Cameroon international forward Charles Eloundou and expect him to join the club when its preseason camp opens next week. Eloundou, 19, was originally acquired by the Rapids in a lottery last January, but problems with his international transfer certificate prevented the completion of the move. Eloundou did, however, train with the Rapids near the end of last season.
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The Rapids' announcement included the caveat that he will be eligible to play upon receipt of his international transfer certificate and P-1 work visa.
“Charles is a great young player with a lot of potential, and we got to see his skill in person at the very end of 2013,” Rapids technical director Paul Bravo said in a statement. “This permanent transfer gives us another exciting, attacking player on our roster who can help both right away and in the future. After a strong SuperDraft, Charles is another addition that fits our model and we look forward to welcoming him at the start of our preseason.”
Eloundou spent 2013 with Coton Sport in Garoua, Cameroon, one of the top clubs in the country. Eloundou also played for Cameroonian club Unisport previously, where he scored nine goals in 20 matches in 2012. He has also played for the Cameroon U-20 national team, and in 2012 scored eight goals in seven matches during U-20 African Nations Cup qualifying.
“I am extremely excited to be joining MLS,” said Eloundou. “I had interest from [other countries], but I sat down with my advisors and we picked Colorado because we feel it is the best place for me at this stage of my career. It is a new adventure, and I look forward to improving as a player, continuing my development and hopefully doing very well.”
Eloundou was included with the full Cameroon national team for the Nehru Cup in India, where he played four matches. The forward originally made his debut for the Cameroon U-17 national team in 2009 at just 14 years old, playing regularly with the side through 2011.