In a report out of last week's training, BigAppleSoccer.com's Kristian Dyer announced there was a new trialist with the New York Red Bulls: an 18-year-old defender described as "tall" and "lanky" by the Red Bull beat's chief-spotter of on-trial talent.
Tall and lanky is a very promising set of characteristics for a team currently enjoying the work of Matt Miazga.
Dyer's report says Jesse Marsch sees the player as able to play both full back and center back, and it is suggested Ndam is being considered for a potential contract with NYRB II, the club's USL team. Oh - and the player is from Cameroon.
There is evidence (pictures on the internet) to suggest Ndam has played youth international soccer for Cameroon - but nothing that rises to a level deserving to be published here. There is evidence to suggest he is at least familiar with the existence of Rainbow Sports Investments, "The No.1 Sports, Media, Marketing and Content Company in Africa" and the agency responsible - one way or another - for the arrival of Ambroise Oyongo, Marius Obekop and Anatole Abang at Red Bull Arena.
There are some questions about Rainbow's business model, but what is not in question is the company's ability to spot talent: Oyongo, Obekop and Abang are some of the best young players to grace RBNY in recent years, and this is a club with one of the best youth academies in the USA.
If there is a Rainbow connection, it is slight because Ndam did not arrive in Harrison direct from Cameroon - he came from Florida. The player has been been with Montverde Academy since...yeah, not too sure about that either. But there are reasons to believe it might have been basically for the last academic year.
Montverde Academy is multi-faceted institution. Among a great many impressive facilities, it has its own soccer institute, which it describes as follows:
The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (S.I.M.A.) is an elite level soccer specific training experience for anyone who possesses the passion to challenge themselves at the highest level both academically and athletically. Located near Orlando, Florida, S.I.M.A. is a program offered by Montverde Academy to its diverse population of enrolled students on campus from the United States and around the world.
Anyone can call themselves an elite-level, soccer-specific training experience, but MVA (as it likes to be known) is a youth soccer powerhouse. In July, Top Drawer Soccer ranked Montverde the top boys soccer program in the country. The rationale was pretty straightforward:
The Eagles have not lost in the five years under coach Mike Potempa — a string that now stands at 117 matches.
We begin to understand why RBNY might have some interest in Ndam.
MVA mostly graduates its soccer starlets into college programs, but it does produce the occasional player who goes straight from high school to the pro game.. Among recent highlights: midfielder Pape Alassane Gassama signed for French Ligue 2 side US Creteil-Lusitanos in June; defender Oumar Diakhite landed a contract with Orlando City (when the team was still in USL) out of MVA in 2013, and then transferred to S.C. Olhanense in Portugal. Per Soccerway.com's stats, Diakhite was a regular starter for two seasons with Olhanense - one in Primeira Liga, one in Segunda Liga - and he is now on loan with top-flight Estoril.
Most recently, the San Jose Earthquakes signed MVA grad Matheus Silva in July. He is the fourth Montverde player to turn pro immediately after leaving the school. Hassan Ndam will hope to be the fifth.