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Charlie Kelman signs with Southend United

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A first pro contract for the U-18 representative.

Just days after scoring a wonderstrike of a goal in his League One debut, U.S. U-18 MNT representative Charlie Kelman has signed his first professional contract with Southend United.

Kelman, a 17-year-old from Wickford, England, who is eligible to represent the United States based on his father’s citizenship, received his first call-up to the U-18 team for their June camp in 2018. Kelman spent six years living in the United States, but Southend is his boyhood team and he sounds thrilled to have signed his first professional contract with the club:

“It’s a dream. I used to be a season ticket holder at Southend and I used to sit there with my friends and think ‘I want to get out there’...I’ve been working hard and it’s good when it pays off.”

The contract is for two and a half years and will take Kelman through the 2020-21 season with Southend. The contract would also seem to indicate that Kelman will be seeing more time for Southend in the near future. The club currently sits in 12th place in League One, twelve points from a promotion playoff position and eight points from the relegation zone. Financial terms of the contract were not announced.