Meet Olosunde, the Nigerian-American Wonderkid Playing for Manchester United (Photo) - 4 years ago
Jose Mourinho surprised English Premier League watchers when he announced some youngsters in the Manchester United team that will play Arsenal at a crucial match at the Emirates today. One of the boys is Mathew Olosunde, who was signed by United in January 2016 from New York Red Bulls. According to Manchester United website, the Nigerian- American defender received international clearance to represent the Reds in March. He was born 7 March 1998 in Trenton, New Jersey, United States. His father is Peter Olosunde, an aircraft engineer, who was born in Nigeria but also studied in the UK. His mother is named Winnie. Mathew made his debut for the Manchester United Under-18s in a 2-1 home defeat to Brighton & Hove Albion at Altrincham’s J. Davidson Stadium. An international call-up with USA Under-19s followed as he looks to build his reputation as a powerful performer either in the middle or at full-back. “He’s one that’s been ongoing for a while,” confirmed Head of Academy Nicky Butt to Inside United. “With the clearance, it took a while, but we’ve got him and he played his first game on Friday night. He’s a good player, a nice lad and a really good athlete. Hopefully, we’ll see a lot from him in the coming years because he’s someone we’re really excited about.” Olosunde was on the bench for the final Under-21 game of the season at Chelsea and made four starts in total at Under-18 level. According to The Mirror of London, The United States youth international’s promotion caps a memorable month for Olosunde after he scored a fine solo goal in the academy’s Dallas Cup victory over Real Salt Lake last month. His strike was among the nominations for United’s Goal of the Month award for April and Olosunde has defied the Reserves’ hindrances to enjoy a decent start to his career with the club. Standing at 6ft 1ins, Olosunde started his career as a right winger before developing into a defender. Olosunde’s route to United was not conventional, wrote The Mirror. He quit New York Red Bulls to go to college and was named as one of Duke University’s six new recruits ahead of last season. Duke head coach John Kerr said last year: “Matthew is a fantastic player who is comfortable playing in the back or in midfield. He has wicked pace and has incredible defensive recovery speed.” “He has great one vs one instincts on both sides of the ball and will help us right away in a number of positions.” His former mentor Kerr compared Olosunde to Dani Alves. Olosunde has started 14 games for the Under-23s this season, scoring one and creating four. Peter Olusunde has always been amazed about his son’s footballing skills. Here is what Soccer America, YouthSoccerInsider wroted about him last year March: “Peter says he noticed from young age that Matthew’s goal was to play for the USA — Matthew’s computer password referenced the U.S. national team. And from the Red Bull he was invited to the U.S. U-17 national team Residency Program in Bradenton, Florida. Olosunde, an outside back, started in all six qualifying games for the 2015 U-17 World Cup, after which he considered offers from Duke University, the Red Bulls, Brighton & Hove Albion and Manchester United. “Peter, an aircraft engineer who was born in Nigeria and educated in the United Kingdom, had always planned for Mathew to go to college. But Manchester United promised to set up Oxford University online courses for Matthew. “That made the decision much easier,” says Peter.