Every year brings forth a new crop of talented young players attempting to make their way abroad, pursuing a professional career in Europe. These journeys often begin in the reserve ranks or on loan, with development and acclimation a high priority. Oluwakorede “Korede” Osundina recently moved abroad, joining Eredivisie side Feyenoord. The 19-year-old attacker is currently on loan with FC Dordrecht, picking up valuable experience in the second division.
Born in Naperville, Illinois and raised in Redmond, Washington, Osundina – the first member of his family to “really get into sports” – competed with Crossfire Premier before joining the Barça Residency Academy in Arizona, which has already helped steer multiple players to the next level. Scoring nine goals in nine matches, he helped the U-19 team reach the Round of 16 in the 2021 MLS Next Cup. Despite committing to Cornell University as a four-star-rated recruit by Top Drawer Soccer, the draw of the professional game proved too strong to ignore.
Like many players with an eye on Europe, Osundina moved to the USL Championship, signing with Orange County SC and competing against veteran opponents; the focus was on “getting in and out” in order to “get to bigger and better places” with a plan to progress toward a transfer. He was described as “an exciting young forward with lots of potential and growth in front of him” while being given “a platform to showcase his talent.” In his first season with the Irvine-based club, he made 21 league and cup appearances, registering three assists.
Over the offseason, Osundina trained with Feyenoord as a part of Orange County’s “long-term association” with the 16-time Eredivisie champions, which allowed him to learn Dutch and become acclimated to the surroundings. During the 2023 USL Championship season, he found his scoring touch, hitting for four goals in 18 league fixtures. He cited the competitive environment and older players as “pushing [him] to be [his] best” and “teaching [him] things that could have taken longer to learn on [his] own.”
In August, Osundina secured the coveted move abroad, signing with Feyenoord on a three-year deal through the summer of 2026. ESPN reported a transfer fee of $215,000 that could surpass $1 million based on certain incentives along with a sell-on clause. “It is a dream come true for me to sign a contract with a major historic club like Feyenoord,” he shared after inking the deal. “My objective is to further develop into a better player here and I feel that Feyenoord can help me with that.”
His European journey began with a season-long loan with FC Dordrecht in the second-tier Eerste Divisie with the intention of gaining experience. After getting adjusted to his surroundings, waiting “a long time” for a work permit, and dealing with a personal matter, Osundina has established himself as a regular rotational option, registering 11 league and cup appearances. He picked up assists against SC Cambuur and FC Lisse, while scoring his first goal, an acrobatic and ambitious finish, in a 4-1 loss to Jong PSV and starting in a recent fixture against SC Telstar.
After a trying start to his time in the Netherlands, the attacker is acclimating to his new surroundings, even claiming that the weather is comparable to the Seattle area. “It was a very difficult couple of weeks,” Osundina said recently. “I came on trial earlier in the year with Feyenoord. It was successful. [I] went back to my club, scored a few goals, and the interest kind of carried on from there. I’m just very happy to be where I am now. [I hope to] obviously score goals [and] help the team in any way possible.”
At the international level, Osundina is eligible to represent Nigeria through his parents’ heritage and the USMNT. He has competed with the latter program since the U-15 group and was a regular with the U-19 side, helping lead the latter team to the 2022 Slovenia Nations Cup with a “brilliant assist” on the game-winner in the deciding 2-1 victory over Scotland. The attacker was named as an alternate for last summer’s 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina and traveled with the squad to train prior to the competition.
Standing 6’, Osundina describes himself as “a fast attacker who likes to score goals.” Coaches praise the “multifunctional” forward for his “speed, strength, and purposefulness” in front of goal. He thrives on the counter-attack with quick movements and a rocket of a shot while also availing the cause with ball-winning and dangerous headers on set pieces.
“His versatility as a crafty winger or unselfish central player show an advanced understanding at a young age,” wrote John Morrissey for USL Tactics. “While Osundina’s touch can be inconsistent, he has real moments of ingenuity and cleverness whenever he receives the ball... He has the tools of a creative cog in a high-end attack.”
Osundina is in the early days of his professional career but appears to have landed at a club that is focused on his development. The main objective for this season is becoming a regular starter with Dordrecht. Upon returning to Feyenoord, perhaps he can challenge for a spot in the rotation and earn Eredivisie minutes. With success in one of the world’s best leagues, his international career could also enjoy a sharp rise, leading all the way to the senior level.