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Duke’s Jeremy Ebobisse signs with MLS

Jeremy Ebobisse, a U.S. under-20 national team forward, has withdrawn from Duke University and signed with MLS, the Insider has learned.

Ebobisse, 19, will be made available at the draft in January in Los Angeles. He is a likely top-five selection. Until then, he is expected to train with D.C. United or the third-division Richmond Kickers. Those squads were the natural options because of their proximity to his home in Bethesda, Md.

If he ends up with the Kickers on an MLS loan, Ebobisse would be eligible to play in USL matches. He cannot play for an MLS team until after the draft next year.

Ebobisse starred at Walter Johnson High School and Bethesda-Olney Soccer Club with Arsenal prospect Gedion Zelalem.

After trials with several clubs in Europe this summer, including Bob Bradley’s Le Havre in the French second tier, and a second season with D.C. United’s under-23 squad, Ebobisse informed Duke officials last week that he had decided to turn pro. He is not affiliated with United’s homegrown program and ineligible for a homegrown contract.

As a sophomore last fall at Duke, Ebobisse posted seven goals and four assists. He had two goals and three assists in his freshman season.

Last month, he scored the winning goal in the U.S. under-20’s 2-1 victory over Japan at the NTC Invitational in Carson, Calif. In the previous two matches, he scored against Panama and Costa Rica.

Ebobisse was planning to sign a Generation Adidas contract, but chose to align with Nike instead. That decision does not change his MLS draft status.