"I’ve been here the whole summer working on my game," he said. "The coaches like what they see and all that. So this is the right place for me to say."
Clint Dempsey seems to think it's a good move.
"He’s a kid for the future," Dempsey said. "He has to keep working hard and progressing as a player. The future is bright. But being about to be at a young age in this environment is only going to help you reach your full potential. Hopefully he takes advantage of that. He’s a good kid, so I wish him the best."
We heard more from and about Mansaray, and I'll get lots of that on the blog this afternoon, Here's a good quote from coach Sigi Schmid:
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He’s a player who shows a good maturity level on the field. I remember Kei Kamara trained with me at the LA Galaxy at roughly about the same age. Ironically they’re from the same place: Sierra Leone. And I think at the same age, maybe Kei had more raw physical ability, but I think Victor soccer-wise is ahead of where Kei was at that age. And
obviously Kamara has had a pretty decent career and a good career in our league. He’s got good soccer sense, good soccer savvy, his balance is good. There are obviously things he can still work on. We felt in talking to him and what his goals were, where he was at academically and things – every decision is different for everyone – that the right decision for him – especially with S2 coming along next year – was to join us and be with us. He’s already been in with the under-18 national team, is supposed to get called in back again with them – that’s what they’ve told us. And I think between all those things he’s going to get enough soccer to grow and develop.
More from Schmid on S2 influencing the decision: On some of the guys, it does, yeah. It’s an alternative to them going to college. Yesterday we talked about Darwin Jones, and I think going to University of Washington – the UDub – was a fantastic decision for Darwin. I think there’s been a tremendous improvement in his game, and just a growth of his personality. And that was great, and I know he would tell you that as well. And I think with Victor, not going to college and going this route because we have S2, is a route that suits his development a little better.
More from MansarayOn all the goal-scorers on the first team, and club has talked to him about S2: Not yet. But my goal is to be on the first team and to come in every day and try to get a spot.
On taking inspiration from Yedlin: Yeah, of course. You have to learn from that guy. He’s a great guy. I talk to him every day in the locker room. He tells me some cool stuff: how to become a pro. I’m going to listen to all his advice.
On if he's comfortable among professionals: Since the first day I stepped in here, these guys are like family to me. They take care of me. Anything I ask for, if they have it they’ll give it to me. Just try to come out here every day and try to learn from these guys.
On noticing the higher playing quality: Of course, of course. Over here it’s a lot quicker than the academy, you’ve got to be mentally there. You can’t be messed up. You can’t be doing and the little stuff you be doing down there with the academy. Here it’s business time. Everything is just business. Everything is professional.