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Cody Cropper released by Southampton

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Richard Heathcote/Getty Images

Cody Cropper's time with Southampton has come to an end as the Premier League club has elected not to renew his contract this summer. The 22-year-old American will now have to find a new team.

Cropper has long been one of the more highly touted young goalkeepers in the United States system, playing for the youth national team at nearly every age group and even spending a fair amount of time training with the senior team. He's expected to be the Americans' U-23 goalkeeper at next summer's Olympics.

Despite Cropper's high standing within the U.S. program, he's never really taken off at Southampton. He joined the Saints three years ago from Ipswch and expectations were high that he could break through at the club that had just been promoted to the top flight. He drew rave reviews early on while playing with the Southampton U-21 team, but things never progressed beyond that. He was never really in contention to crack through with the first team and was increasingly a forgotten man at the club, with the rare appearance on the bench considered a big deal.

Cropper can go to any club he pleases now. He's a free agent and there should be a fair amount of interest. Clubs are usually willing to take on young goalkeepers, even if just for depth, and then hope he pans out. There will undoubtedly be links to MLS, which would make sense because he appears to be rated higher in the American soccer world that abroad, but he is a UK citizen so he can stay in England or go anywhere else in the European Union without trouble.