Amir Abedzadeh has re-signed with Los Angeles Blues for the 2012 USL PRO season. Photo Credit: Los Angeles Blues
Soccer News: Abedzadeh Re-Signs with Los Angeles Blues
Top goalkeeping prospect has sights set firmly on starting job
The Los Angeles Blues are excited to announce they have re-signed goalkeeper Amir Abedzadeh for the 2012 USL PRO campaign, pending league approval. The 19-year-old, whose father is legendary Iranian netminder Ahmad Reza Abedzadeh, joined the Fullerton-based club ahead of the 2011 season, following four years in England that included a stint with the Tottenham Hotspur youth system.
Serving as backup to former Mexican first division star Oscar Dautt during his first year with the Blues, Abedzadeh showed plenty of promise in the handful of starts he made for the team, adding to his reputation as a top international prospect. Following Dautt’s departure, the coaching staff is currently in the process of choosing a replacement for the accomplished shot-stopper.
“Amir is definitely in the running for the starting spot,” Associate Head Coach Shayon Jalayer said. “He’s technically sound and has done quite well when called upon in our preseason matches. While he still has to mature with regard to the tactical side, one of his biggest strengths is his confidence in his own abilities. Given his limited experience at the professional level, it’s astounding that it doesn’t intimidate him. That’s a huge asset.”
While a natural talent, the 6’0” model athlete has no doubt benefited from years of guidance by his father, a former star netminder who led the Iranian national team to a respectable 1-2-0 record in the group stage of the 1998 FIFA World Cup. Seeing some playing time with the Blues last year further added to the younger Abedzadeh’s confidence.
“It made sense that I only played a few games, given that we had such an experienced goalkeeper in Oscar,” he offered. “This year we don’t have that one huge name, so I’m determined to cement my spot. If I see a lot of minutes this year, it will help me get seen by agents and hopefully allow me to move on to the highest level.”
That goal is entirely achievable, according to Jalayer.
“While Amir is our youngest player, he’s also one of the few with experience playing in USL PRO, which is very valuable,” he said. “But even if he shouldn’t earn the starting gig this year, he’s still of huge value to us long-term because of his tremendous potential. We believe that he has everything it takes to develop into a first-class goalkeeper.”
The Blues coaches are excited to have Abedzadeh back, especially given that his rapid progress hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“Last year was a great experience,” the 19-year-old said. “I can’t remember a time when I improved so much in only a few months. I trained with Chivas USA in the offseason and had a chance to go there, but I decided to stay with the Blues because I owe a lot to the coaching staff and I believe they will help me get even better. In addition, I now have a chance to become the starting goalkeeper here, which is a tremendous opportunity.”
Abedzadeh is not afraid to set the bar high for the upcoming campaign.
“In 2011, we had some players who created problems within the team, so I think it’s great that we’re starting over this year with a great group of guys, all of whom are hungry but still get along really well,” he said. “With both the chemistry and the quality being there, I’m hopeful that we can win the league title and go deep in the U.S. Open Cup.”
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