A pair of attackers on the U.S. under-18 men’s national team are headed to Europe. Marquette
confirmed that midfielder Andrija Novakovich
will forgo playing for the Golden Eagles and move to Reading in England, while forward Dembakwi Yomba tweeted
that he had signed with Atletico Madrid and would be returning to Spain in three months.
Novakovich, the top
player to come out of Wisconsin in recent years, recently spent two weeks at Reading on trial. He first joined the national team program last summer with the U-18s. He was eligible to sign with
Reading, currently sixth in the League Championship, because his mother was born in England. His father hails from Serbia.
"It was a bittersweet decision, and I am so grateful for the
guidance and help Coach [Louis] Bennett
and the soccer staff have given me," said the 17-year-old Novakovich in a statement released by Marquette. "Signing the
letter of intent to play at Marquette was a proud point for me, and I will forever consider myself a Golden Eagle."
Yomba, who was born in Sierra Leone, had been part of the U-17
residency program before joining the U-18s. He also plays for Concorde Fire in Georgia and had verbally committed to North Carolina.
Both Novakovich and Yomba played for the USA at
the Limoges Tournament in France last fall and Copa del Atlantico in Spain this winter. The top prize in the U-18 group is unsigned Mukwelle Akale
, named the
top player at the Copa del Atlantico.