Fulham FC announced that goalkeeper Alex Borto has signed his first professional contract. The American recently joined the club’s academy last summer, securing the starting role with the U-18 squad. In today’s 5-1 victory over Reading, he made “a couple of vital stops, including a brilliant one-handed dive.”
“I was really happy because it was always a dream of mine to go pro,” Borto told the club’s official website. “For me to hear that news, I was just so blessed. All the hard work that I’ve been putting in has paid off… This is a great academy and my aim is to play with the Under-23s next year and hopefully train with the first team eventually. The goal, of course, is to get to a point where I’m training with first team every day.”
Praised for his work ethic and natural ability, Borto joined the Fulham Academy in July of 2020, spurning interest from Manchester United and Leicester City. After waiting several months due to the travel ban and quarantine, he has appeared in 12 matches for the club’s U-18 side and has frequently been on the bench for the reserves. His stated goals are to compete for the first-team within “four-to-five years” and be “the best keeper in the world by age 26 or 27.”
Fulham is currently in 18th place in the English Premier League, likely headed back to the Championship one year after securing promotion. The club, occasionally known as Fulhamerica, features several Americans in the first-team squad and reserves including Tim Ream, Antonee Robinson, and Marlon Fossey. The goalkeeper depth chart has several options, although current starter Alphonse Areola, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, likely won’t return next season.
Borto has yet to appear at the youth international level. The South Plainfield, New Jersey native is eligible to play for the USMNT and Poland. According to Fulham Academy Director Huw Jennings, “Both nations are monitoring his progress closely.”