Sacramento Republic FC announced this week they have signed preseason trialist Ashkanov “Ash” Apollon to a first-team professional contract.
The 28-year-old joins after a successful trial, having played high-level soccer on three continents.
“Ash impressed us from minute one at our open tryout, and he continued to impress with our first team squad this preseason,” Republic FC General Manager Todd Dunivant said in a team statement. “He has primarily played as an attacking player, but we think his skillset actually lends itself better as a wingback where he can join the attack late and create overloads. Ash’s journey with us is a great story of what is possible when you take your opportunity, and we are delighted to welcome him into the team.”
Apollon was born in Boston to Haitian parents, and played collegiate soccer at Washington’s Peninsula College. His career path is unusual: First signing in Thailand, he’s played in what’s now called USL League Two for Kitsap Pumas and Seattle Sounders U-23s, before spending the last three years in France, playing in the fourth and fifth tiers there.
As Dunivant’s quote above indicates, Apollon has played as a wide attacker so far in his career but he is being penciled in as a wide defender with Sacramento. 28 years old is a fairly late age to switch positions but for a hungry player looking to stay in the game, it could be effective, and players are converted to wide defenders more than anywhere else on the field, so it’s not totally out of the blue.
Apollon’s signing appears to bring Republic FC’s roster up to 20 official members, so expect some more moves in the coming weeks ahead of the March 7 season opener against FC Tulsa.
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