The Colorado Rapids picked up promising Cameroonian attacker Charles Eloundou in a weighted lottery Friday, beating out Real Salt Lake and D.C. United for his MLS rights.
The 18-year-old Eloundou, a veteran of his country's U-20 team, was set to participate in the 2013 MLS Combine and SuperDraft, but he was unable to acquire a visa in time. As a result of being a draft-eligible player and signed with the league after the SuperDraft, Eloundou's rights were distributed via the lottery system, and Colorado, RSL and D.C. were the only teams that opted to have the chance at acquiring him.
Last year, Eloundou scored eight goals in seven matches during U-20 African Nations Cup qualifying, and he made his Cameroon U-17s debut at the age of 14. Eloundou is currently on a one-year loan from Cameroonian side AS Fortuna, with an option for MLS to purchase his rights at the end of the deal. He is expected to join the club following Cameroon's senior national team friendly against Tanzania on Feb. 6.
“This is an exciting acquisition for the Rapids, getting a player who has attracted attention from top clubs in Europe,” Rapids technical director Paul Bravo said in a team release. "He’s got great pace, strength and skill, and at just 18 he’s already in the set-up for the full national team of Cameroon. We’re looking forward to welcoming him into our squad."
As a result of winning Eloundou's rights, Colorado is prohibited from any other player lotteries during the 2013 MLS season. The Rapids join the Portland Timbers (Mobi Fehr) and Toronto FC (Gale Agbossoumonde) as teams who are ineligible for future player lotteries this season.
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