U.S. Abroad: Horvath will battle for Brugge starting job

After two seasons at Norway's Molde, 21-year-old keeper Ethan Horvath has been transferred to Belgian champion Club Brugge, coached by legendary Belgian keeper Michel Preud’homme. He signed a deal through the 2020-21 season with Brugge, first in Belgium's Jupiler Pro League after 21 games.

Horvath won the No. 1 job at Molde in 2015 and led it to first place in its Europa League that included Ajax, Fenerbahce and Celtic. Molde lost to eventual champion Sevilla in the knockout round.

Horvath has been brought in as the long-term successor to 33-year-old Frenchman Ludovic Butelle with whom he'll battle for the starting job. Butelle has started every game for Brugge this season.

Horvath will join Brugge on Thursday at its  winter training camp in Sotogrande, Spain. It will play two friendlies against German clubs Werder Bremen and Freiburg before returning to Belgium for its next league game against Standard Liege on Jan. 22.

The Jupiler Pro League is one of the few European leagues that has a playoff system. The top six teams advance to the championship bracket, taking have the points accumulated during the 30-game first phase. The championship bracket, which begins in March, consists of 10 games.

Horvath started for the USA in Olympic men's qualifying for the U-23s. He earned his first cap in the USA's 2-0 win over Cuba in October.
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