To the undoubted delight of the New York Red Bulls and MLS, questions they would rather not answer about how Anatole Abang can be listed as "on loan" when he is very clearly not on loan are no longer relevant, because Anatole Abang is once more on loan.
Without a club to play for since his loan to Denmark's Hobro IK was terminated in January, Abang has joined Finland's Seinajoen Jalkapallokerho - mercifully known as SJK.
Per an official announcement from SJK, Abang has joined on loan until July, with an option for the loan to be extended to the end of the 2018 season. In effect, the 20-year-old forward has a three-month trial that might turn into an attachment to SJK for the next two MLS seasons (at which point, one assumes, his contract with RBNY would surely be over).
SJK's head coach, Sixten Bostrom, was an assistant with Columbus Crew for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. In a statement on the SJK website, he said he was familiar with Abang from his time in MLS:
He is a good size, strong and good at keeping the ball...He is able to play a target or to run the defense of the opposing team...In every respect, an interesting player.
SJK is in Finland's top flight, and the club won the league in 2015. Last season, it finished third. The new Veikkasuliiga season in Finland starts for SJK on April 5 and runs until October.
Abang is joining an ambitious club. Founded from the merger of two teams in 2007, SJK worked its way up to the top flight from the third tier of Finnish football. Since winning promotion to the Veikausliiga for the 2014 season, it has made a habit of winning silverware: a Finnish Cup was added to the trophy cabinet in 2016 after 2015's league triumph. The team will enter the 2017-18 Europa League in the qualifying rounds.
If he can impress his new club between now and July, Abang should find plenty of opportunity to revive and advance his career with SJK.