US youth international Charlie Horton has left English Championship club Leeds United due to a “private family matter back home” in the United States, the club announced on Monday, and Horton said he plans to “pursue a career in the MLS” in a personal statement posted on his Twitter feed.
“I’ve had to leave because of a private family matter back home,” Horton told LeedsUnited.com. “For me there is only one thing which comes before this football club – my family. That is the sole reason I’m going home. I ask people to respect my privacy while I handle it, as it is not a short-term matter.
“I’m disappointed that it’s over so soon, but Leeds will always hold a special place in my heart. I’ll always follow each game from across the pond. I wish them all the best.”
The 21-year-old goalkeeper signed a two-year deal with LUFC over the summer after arriving from Cardiff City. Though seeing most of his playing time with the club's U-21 squad, Horton also served as the backup for several senior-squad matches.
Horton, who was born in London but calls Cleveland his hometown, was named to the USA's Olympic qualifying squad but did not see action for Andi Herzog's during the tournament. He started one match in the U-23s' two-game friendly series with Brazil earlier this month and also backstopped a solid US performance at the Toulon tournament in France last spring.
“The club, owner and coaching staff, especially the gaffer, stressed that I had an extremely bright footballing future at the club, and were disappointed to see me go,” he said in his Twitter announcement. “However, they understood the circumstances and are letting me return home, with the understanding that I will pursue a career in the MLS, much closer to where I am needed.”