Cameroon international Sammy N’Djock has signed with the ambitious Minnesota United after linking up with AX on their Chicago combine in December 2014. The 24 year-old goalkeeper had just spent the summer in Brazil, on World Cup duty with Cameroon , and decided after the tournament that he would like to ply his trade across the Atlantic in the United States.
N’Djock had been at Antalyaspor of the Turkish Super League since 2010, after progressing through the ranks at French Ligue 1 outfit Lille, and he made his international bow in June 2013 – keeping a clean sheet against Ukraine, who were then ranked 18th in the world. Two caps later and N’Djock was on the plane with Volker Finke’s Cameroon squad to South America, sharing Group A with Croatia, Mexico and hosts Brazil.
Despite such a fine career so far, N’Djock found it surprisingly hard to break into America. On the recommendation of a friend, he opted to attend AX’s winter combine in Chicago.
Competition was high between the sticks: N’Djock saw himself vying for attention alongside two goalkeepers with MLS experience and Alex Wimmer, who recently signed in Sweden following AX’s endorsement.
From day one it was clear N’Djock was of international standard. Offers came in from clubs across Scandinavia and the USL, but AX were certain the 6’2” goalkeeper deserved a shot at a higher level. Through the contacts of FIFA licensed agent Mark Taylor, AX were able to secure N’Djock a multi-year contract with Minnesota United of the North American Soccer League.
Minnesota United finished second in the NASL last term on goal difference, despite outscoring every team in the league, and then lost out on penalties in the Championship semi-finals to Fort Lauderdale Strikers. By signing players of Sammy N’Djock’s calibre, it is clear The Loons are looking to win the playoffs for the second time since 2011’s inaugural triumph.
N’Djock’s combine and transfer shows that AX not only finds amateur players their first professional deals, but also seasoned and well-respected professionals looking for an opportunity in a country of their choice through AX’s contacts.