SLU star Kristo signs with Italy's Spezia

Robbie Kristo, a three-time at All-American at Saint Louis University, has signed with Serie B club Spezia in Italy. The club will officially announce the move once Kristo receives his international clearance.

“This is a great opportunity for me,” Kristo said. “I’m thankful to all my SLU teammates and coaches for helping me get to this point.”

Kristo, who graduated from SLU a semester early to begin his pro career, has been in Italy on a three-week trial with Spezia. In January, Kristo was drafted by the Columbus Crew in the MLS SuperDraft.

Kristo's story is similar to that of Bosnian national team star Vedad Ibisevic, the former Soccer America Freshman of the Year who left Saint Louis after his freshman year to turn pro in Europe.

Kristo was born in Bosnia to Croatian parents and moved to St. Louis, which has a large community of exiles from the Bosnian War. He ended up staying all four years when he did not get a Generation adidas offer after his junior season. The 2014 Atlantic-10 Offensive Player of the Year scored 14 goals to become the first player since Brian McBride (1990-93) to lead the Billikens in scoring all four years

“It is a unique situation for a player to sign with a European club of this caliber right out of college,” SLU head coach Mike McGinty said. “This is a testament to Robert’s dedication and work ethic during his four years here at SLU and another example of our program’s reputation of developing professionals. It is Robert’s life long goal to play overseas, and everyone here at SLU is excited to see Robert realize his dream and we look forward to following his career.”
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