After reportedly not receiving a Generation Adidas offer from MLS, Brian “Cobi” Span, generally considered a top ten prospect for next month’s MLS SuperDraft, has instead decided to sign with Djurgården in Sweden. Span had trained with Örebro (then the club of Alejandro Bedoya) over the summer. Djurgården, who finished 11th in the Allsvenskan, was the club for a few months for U-23 defender Gale Agbossoumonde.
The 6-3 Span was named Second Team All-ACC this year after scoring seven goals and assisting on five more. He was on the All-Freshman team last year after scoring five and assisting on three. The Cavaliers made the NCAA Tournament this year, but they were upset 1-0 by the Fighting Blue Hens of Delaware in the first round.
Here is a video of Span’s goals this season.
Span will join Samuel Petrone of Mjällby AIF in Sweden’s top league.
Notably, Span becomes the first college underclassman I can think of in recent years to jump to a professional league like Sweden’s. Other players— Kamani Hill, Steve Cherundolo, Sal Zizzo, Benny Feilhaber, among others– have left college early for Europe, but they have usually wound up playing as squad players at larger clubs (in the cases that came to mind, all in Germany). Span will take a route more in line with that of Josh Gatt or Sean Cunningham.
Also, in case you were wondering, Span’s nickname does come from that Cobi.