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March 1, 2011 - 10:12pm

Soony Saad leaving Michigan for European professional team


According to a report from, star freshman forward Soony Saad has left Michigan men's soccer team to pursue a professional career in Europe.

Saad was coming off a remarkable first season for the Wolverines, scoring a team-best 19 goals as he helped lead Michigan to the NCAA College Cup semifinals. The nation took notice of his performance as he earned second team All-American, All-Big Ten First Team, and Big Ten Freshman of the Year. The momentum ride for Saad continued in December when he was called up for his first US U-20 National Team camp.

Reports have Saad on trial currently at R.S.C. Anderlecht, the top team in Belgium and the club of US Men's National Team member Sacha Kljestan.

Michigan coach Steve Burns must now fill a giant hole at forward with Saad's early departure and the loss of Justin Meram, who was drafted by the Columbus Crew of the MLS. The pair accounted for 36 of the Wolverine's 53 goals, so look for the Wolverines to fight an uphill battle to match last season's success.

Continue checking for more coverage of the Saad developments and the Wolverines' reaction to losing their star.