Southampton opts not to retain U.S. Under-23 goalkeeper Cody Cropper
Cody Cropper has his focus on backstopping the U.S. Under-23 men's national team to the Olympics, but he'll also need to turn his attention to finding a new club.
Cropper, the 22-year-old goalkeeper, was not retained by Southampton, the Premier League club announced on Tuesday.
Cropper was in the final year of his contract with the club, for whom he never had a first-team appearance after joining from Ipswich Town in 2012. Cropper played for the club's U-21 team but is eyeing first-team opportunities at this stage of his career.
“At this age, you need to be playing games to grow and to mature, and for myself with next summer, the Olympics coming, personally, I need to be playing,” Cropper told SI.com's Liviu Bird prior to April's U-23 friendly vs. Mexico. “I know I need to be playing, and that’s something that I have to ultimately decide for myself and see where I am.”
Should an MLS team make a play for Cropper, he would go through the league's discovery process. He is not on the league's fixed list of players subjected to the allocation order.
Cropper is currently with the U.S. U-23s as they prepare for the Toulon Tournament in France. The first match is against the host nation on Wednesday, followed by group games against the Netherlands, Costa Rica and Qatar.