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Novakovich back with U.S. Under-18 team, will train with English clubs

01/29/2014, 10:45pm CST
By ERIC ANDERSON
Andrija Novakovich

Andrija Novakovich (Muskego) has traveled to Japan, Northern Ireland and France to play with U.S. youth international teams over the past year.

Now the 6-foot-3 striker is back in Europe for what figures to be his biggest trip yet.

Novakovich is one of 18 players named to the U.S. Under-18 roster for the Copa del Atlantico in Las Palmas, Canary Islands, which is a Spanish archipelago off the coast of Morocco in northwest Africa. The Americans will play Spain on Feb. 4, Argentina on Feb. 5 and the Canary Islands on Feb. 7 in their debut at the tournament.

But Novakovich won't be coming right home from the Canary Islands.

Instead, he'll return to London – where he's spent the past few days visiting family – and will spend two weeks training with Premier League club Fulham. Novakovich, who graduated early from Muskego High School and has verbally committed to play for Marquette, also will train with Championship club Reading for two weeks before returning to Wisconsin in late March.

For those wondering about his future potential prospects of playing in England, Novakovich's mother was born in London and his father was born in a part of Yugoslavia that is now Serbia. That means he likely would be able to play in the United Kingdom without acquiring a work permit, which can be challenging for American players who are not national team regulars.

Novakovich has scored four goals in eight appearances in international play, and has 30 goals in 25 games for Chicago Magic PSG teams in U.S. Soccer Development Academy play since spring 2013. He had 41 goals and 13 assists for Muskego in 2012, when he was named the Gatorade Wisconsin Player of the Year.

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