[AMERICANS ABROAD] Only last Thursday, Quentin Westberg, formerly of the U.S. U-17 and U-20 national teams, was facing an uncertain future in France as an unemployed goalie following his release by Troyes in June. By Monday, he had signed with Ligue 2 Evian Thonon-Gaillard and earned a shutout in its 0-0 tie with Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Westberg had spent the summer playing for the UNFP, the French player union's team of unemployed players, but found no takers until Evian ran into trouble on the eve of the 8th round of the Second Division season.
Starting goalie Bertrand Laquait was suspended, and Johann Durand was out injured, leaving Evian with no experienced goalie for its game against Boulogne, relegated from Ligue 1.
Westberg was outstanding against Boulogne, former University of Virginia and Chicago Fire Bakary Soumare's club.
The result left promoted Evian tied for third place. Bernard Casoni was pleased with his team's performance and that of Westberg.
"We are still apprentices," he said. "The Second Division is difficult. Quentin Westberg's performance was very satisfying. A week ago, he was unemployed. This evening he played the entire game. In soccer, things sometimes happen very quickly."
Westberg was born and raised in France to an American father and French mother and holds the distinction of having spent time at the U.S. under-17 residency program and the French equivalent, the French federation's school at Clairefontaine.
Indeed, Westberg, who played only two Ligue 1 and one Ligue 2 matches in six seasons at Troyes, is best known in France for his appearance on the Canal-Plus reality show "A la Clairefontaine" about the Clairefontaine program.
Westberg, 24, started for Troyes last season in the National, the third level of French soccer, but was surprisingly released at the end of the season.