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Tottenham Hotspur Center Back William Ekong On Trial With D.C. United

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We can't defend, so finding new defenders is probably a good idea. As such, D.C. United has brought Dutch under-19 national team center back William Ekong, currently with Tottenham Hotspur of the Premier League, to the District for a trial.

William Ekong isn't in this picture, but he has probably done this drill with some of these Tottenham Hotspur players.
William Ekong isn't in this picture, but he has probably done this drill with some of these Tottenham Hotspur players.
Dean Mouhtaropoulos

D.C. United is in desperate need for defensive help, and Ben Olsen has been very open about wanting to bring new faces in on trial. Therefore, it should be no surprise that United announced today that William Ekong, a Dutch center back with Nigerian heritage currently with Tottenham Hotspur, is on trial. The 19 year old has appeared for the Netherlands at the under-19 national team level, and would bring some size - he's 6'3" - to the center back position.

As of last April, Ekong had signed a one-year contract extension and said that the staff at Spurs wanted to loan him out to a club in the Championship - that's England's 2nd division, MLS snobs - or perhaps a club in the Netherlands. In October of last year, such a move apparently came close to happening. Ekong was allowed to train with RKC Waalwijk of the Dutch top flight, and per SB Nation's Tottenham Hotspur blog Cartilage Free Captain, RKC even listed him in their matchday squad at one point (apparently without ever signing him on loan or otherwise, which is odd).

Since Ekong only turns 20 in September, it's hard to expect that he'd immediately help United's defense improve instantly. This is a group that needs real, experienced help right away (i.e. a player better right now than anyone we currently have on the team). However, if Ekong is even close to good enough for Dutch first division teams to be interested in having him around, then he's probably good enough to improve our depth.

The fact that he's so young would make him a very interesting permanent signing if that can happen, but even if he just becomes a long-term loan, we could use another option at center back. There is also a precedent for Spurs players spending years on loan with an MLS team (see: Simon Dawkins, a key player for the 2011 and 2012 San Jose Earthquakes who didn't return this year because he ended up on loan with Aston Villa). Tottenham has also sent John Bostock - signed, and then recently released, by Toronto FC - around to several MLS teams for trials.

If you want to see the inevitable Youtube highlight video that tells us virtually nothing, here it is. Further searches seem to indicate he's popular with dudes who post highlight videos of their Football Manager games on Youtube, but that's even more irrelevant so you should probably skip them.