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Official: Haji Wright chooses the New York Cosmos over Europe or MLS

Mike Carlson/Getty Images

The New York Cosmos have confirmed on Monday that they've agreed to a deal with United States U17 standout Haji Wright. Wright, who came through the ranks of the Los Angeles Galaxy academy, has been a standout performer in the youth national setup for several years now. That had him on the radar of several big European clubs, and of course, he was of interest to most of Major League Soccer as well. As per usual with the Cosmos, specifics of the deal were not disclosed.

In all likelihood, the Cosmos move happened because Wright sees his long-term future in Europe, and the NASL's more player-friendly structure leaves less obstacles in Wright's path. Having just turned 17 on March 27, Wright isn't technically eligible for an international transfer of yet, and top European clubs seem a little more reluctant than before to massage Fifa's regulations following the crackdown on FC Barcelona and the ongoing investigations at Real Madrid.

Choosing the Cosmos also gives Wright the opportunity to work alongside legends such as Raul Gonzalez and Marcos Senna, and potentially even more if the club manages to land the additional forward that they've been targeting. Hopefully that opportunity does wonders for Wright's game, as the athletic prospect is still somewhat rough around the edges, and the sky is the limit if he learns to think the game at the speed his body is capable of playing.

Welcome to New York, Haji. It will be fun watching you in green.