Steve Goff of The Washington Post was the first to report that Chris Durkin signed with D.C. United.
Durkin, 16, signed a multi-year deal with the MLS club and will play in their U.S. Open Cup match against the Fort Lauderdale Strikers on Wednesday.
Durkin is the captain for the U-17 U.S. men's national team and had "European opportunities." He spent the past semester at the U.S. Soccer Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida and featured heavily in the U-17's second place finish at the All-India Football Federation Youth Cup.
He will train with D.C. United this summer and return to Bradenton in the fall.
Black and Red United's Steven Streff spoke to Durkin after he signed:
"It's really exciting," Durkin said upon completing the deal to make him one of the youngest homegrown players to ever sign with a MLS team. "I've dreamed since I was a little kid of putting on the jersey with my name on the back."
"I have a lot of passion for this club. I've been with this club since I was 11 years old, gone up through the academy system. To be with a club that I've been with since a little kid, there's a level of passion and desire to be at this club."
Durkin's signing comes on the heels of Andrew Carleton, another U-17 national team standout, signing with Atlanta United.
There will undoubtedly be a discussion in the future as to whether these youth national team players should be signing with MLS clubs instead of going overseas (if it isn't happening too much already).
For now, the abundance of young Americans who are talented enough to sign professional deals before they turn 18 and the existence of multiple pathways for these players to pursue professional soccer must be appreciated.