Since the New York Cosmos added Haji Wright last March ahead of the North American Soccer League season, we've seen quite a few United States youth internationals make their way to the NASL. On Friday, 17-year old Nick Taitague became the latest US U-18 player coming to the league, joining the Carolina RailHawks as an amateur player.
By joining as an amateur, the Virginia native leaves his options wide open going forward. NCAA soccer is still an option, as are MLS, and either Mexico or Europe once he turns 18.
RailHawks Head Coach Colin Clarke is obviously about the youngster's addition, who will be eligible to play for both the senior team as well as the academy side.
"He is an exciting young player. He just came back from a successful trip in Argentina with the U-18 Men’s National Team. I’ve known him and his family for a long time, and we feel that this is a great opportunity for him to grow as a player."
It will be interesting to see how this one plays out, but if Taitague impresses with Carolina this spring, I'd be pretty surprised to see him continue to play as an amateur, when there's good money to be made as a pro. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.