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Grella Keen To Impress Leeds

Former Duke University forward Mike Grella has wasted no time in finishing college, turning down Major League Soccer, and signing a contract with his new team, English third-tier side Leeds United.
 
Grella, who graduated in December, told Luke DeCock, "If I could have done school in a year, I would have done it in a year." He was a third-round pick in last month's SuperDraft for Toronto FC, but chose to go on a two-week trial with Leeds United instead. One reserve team hat trick later and he was offered an 18-month contract by the three-time English champion. Immigration red tape was avoided by obtaining an Italian passport through his parents, who are first-generation immigrants.
 
"I had heard of Leeds before going over, obviously, and I was excited about it," Grella said. "Of course, you hear it's in the third division and you're a little skeptical about it. But the facilities are fantastic, and the fan base. I went to a couple home games and the atmosphere was fantastic." The player is roughly fifth or sixth on the Leeds depth chart at striker, and has a year and a half to make an impression. "I have until the end of the season and the entire next season," he said. "I definitely have some time to prove myself."

Read the whole story at News & Observer »

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