Jeremy Ebobisse has signed with Major League Soccer, but he may get his first taste of professional life in the United Soccer League.
The Washington Post's Steven Goff reported via Twitter on Monday that the former Duke University striker is likely to join USL side Charleston Battery on loan for the remainder of 2016, ahead of his availability in the 2017 MLS SuperDraft in January.
A native of Bethesda, Maryland, Ebobisse turned heads as a youth standout alongside Arsenal prospect and fellow US youth international Gedion Zelalem at Bethesda-Olney Soccer Academy, then starred for Duke over the past two NCAA seasons before pivoting towards a pro career this year.
Ebobisse signed with MLS last week. But with his circumstances placing him outside the Homegrown, allocation and discovery processes, he must wait until the SuperDraft determines his MLS destination.
Goff, who first reported on Ebobisse's MLS move on Aug. 15, originally wrote that the 19-year-old was “expected” to train with D.C. United or the Richmond Kickers, the nearest pro clubs to his Maryland home, ahead of the draft. But it appears that Charleston has moved into pole position as his temporary destination.
One of the oldest lower-division clubs in the United States, the Battery are currently Atlanta United's USL affiliate and have four MLS loanees on their 2016 roster: ATL UTD signings Andrew Carleton, Jeffrey Otoo and Alexandros Tabakis, and Montreal Impact striker Romario Williams. Charleston presently sit in seventh place in the USL Eastern Conference with a 10-5-8 record (38 points from 23 games).