Thursday, February 11, 2016

Union sign striker Agorsor

The Union won the rights to striker Chris Agorsor in a weighted lottery conducted by MLS this afternoon.

Union sign striker Agorsor

Chris Agorsor was one of the top high school prospects nationwide in the class of 2008. (AP file photo)
Chris Agorsor was one of the top high school prospects nationwide in the class of 2008. (AP file photo)

The Union won the rights to striker Chris Agorsor in a weighted lottery conducted by MLS this afternoon.

Here's what I've been able to find out so far about the 21-year-old native of Severn, Md. (near Baltimore).

Agorsor won both the Gatorade and NSCAA High School Player of the Year awards in 2008. He played for the prestigious Baltimore Bays youth club, and had offers to play in Europe but turned them down to play college soccer at Virginia.

Here is Agorsor's bio from Virginia's athletic department website.

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The Goalkeeper: Union sign striker Agorsor

After scoring four goals in his first seven games for the Cavaliers, Agorsor suffered a serious knee injury. He was able to recover, and went to Europe for trials with a few different clubs. Agorsor's family is from Ghana, and he has dual American and Ghanaian citizenship, so he was able to work out with multiple teams across the continent.

One of those clubs was reportedly Manchester United, though work permit issues restricted how much Agorsor could do there.

None of those trials worked out, though, so Agorsor came back to the United States. He was one of the six mystery trialsts at the Union's preseason training camp in Wayne, having been invited by Union assistant coach John Hackworth.

Although there was definite mutual interest between Agorsor and the Union, actually getting the deal done was not so easy. Because Agorsor had never played in MLS before, his rights were assigned through a weighted lottery process.

As many (or as few) clubs as want to in the league can enter the lottery. The early word was that only three clubs put in for Agorsor's rights, and the Union later confirmed that report. Portland and Vancouver were the other clubs involved. According to the Union's Twitter feed, Philadelphia had a 96.3 percent chance of winning the lottery.

Once clubs declare their interest in a lottery, the weighing is done as follows. A club's record from the previous season and the order of the MLS allocation standings are combined in a large saucepan with a pound of ground beef, some tomato sauce, one diced tomato, one chopped-up onion and a few garlic cloves.

In other words, it's not a very transparent process. The odds for player lotteries are published, but it's not all that clear how the odds are created.

Will Agorsor satisfy Union fans' hunger more than a good pasta bolognese? We'll have to wait until the season starts next month to find out.

[Hat tips to a lot of people who had already done the research on Agorsor: Craig Stouffer, Charles Boehm, Soccer America and The Brotherly Game's Scott Kessler.]

Staff Writer
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The Goalkeeper is your home for the latest news about the Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer, the National Women's Soccer League, the U.S. men's and women's national teams, and the rest of the world's most popular sport. It's also a place for fans to gather and celebrate the culture of soccer and its unique place on the sports landscape.

Jonathan Tannenwald Staff Writer
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