BRIAN SCIARETTA - Tuesday, February 1, 2011
With the transfer window coming to a close in the UK on Monday, Reading FC of the English Championship were able to acquire American midfielder Erik Opsahl on a free transfer.
Opsahl, 18, made the decision to turn professional after completing his freshman year at St. Johns University in New York City. He was able to get a work permit with his father being from Norway.
His deal will keep him with the Berkshire based club through the end of the season with the club holding an option for another year.
"We signed him through the end of the season," Reading FC's director of communications Craig Mortimer told YA. "We have the option in the summer to keep him for another 12 months."
Opsahl earned the contract after going on a trial in January for two weeks at the club where he played well and impressed the club's coaching staff.
"He trained for a couple of weeks earlier in January," Mortimer discussed. "He's back in the States now but is due back here this weekend. He was with us for a few weeks and obviously he did well so we've taken him until the end of the season."
As for what lies ahead for Opsahl, the club is still uncertain. Opsahl's young age allows him to be eligible for Reading's U-18 team but it is possible he could move up to reserves.
"When trained for those two weeks he did train with the first team group," Mortimer concluded. "What happens when he comes back, I'm not 100 percent sure. He is eligible to play for our Under-18s. Depending on how things work out, he may play some games for our U-18s, or our reserves. It will be great if he can keep progressing."
Reading currently sit in ninth place in the Championship with 41 points through 27 games.