FC Dallas claimed the former IFX player Sam Ebstein in Superdraft MLS 2019


We keep on receiving pleasant news from our former IFX players accomplishments in the MLS Superdraft 2019. Former Pro IFX Germany Program participant and All-Pac-12 midfielder Sam Ebstein (23) was selected by MLS professional club FC Dallas as the 87th overall selection of the 2019 Major League Soccer Superdraft a few weeks ago. FC Dallas selected the recent graduate of UC California at Berkeley midfielder, adding him to this prestigious list of university players that have been selected by professional clubs in current Superdraft edition.

Fours year ago, Sam took part in our Pro IFX Germany program and competed with long term IFX partner club SV Memmelsdorf who at the time competed in the tough German Bayernliga (Fifth division). Needless to say, Sam was very excited to have been drafted by the professional soccer club FC Dallas. “FC Dallas was a great opportunity to train with its first team and I think the biggest thing I take away from the experience and everything that happened so far is that I am good enough to play at that level and I think once you play with people with that level and you can play with them increases your confidence a lot” Ebstein stated.

Ebstein was the 87th overall pick. The San Francisco local spent most of his senior year sidelined with a nagging injury that never allowed him to compete at his full potential, according to Coach Grimes. Despite the injury, he started 13 matches and played 1,313 minutes in 2018. “It’s great that a club like FC Dallas did their due diligence and watched Sam over the years… They were able to see his talents over the last two or three years, and that really made the difference,” Coach Grimes explained.

  • "My time in Germany helped me to play more simply"
  • FC Dallas selected fresh graduate of UC California at Berkeley midfielder

Before Sam embarked on a life-changing-experience playing “Fussball” in Germany through IFX Soccer, the midfielder played club soccer in US for the San Jose Earthquakes Under-17 and -18 Academy from 2013-2014.  It was due to a severe injury that Sam ended up playing club soccer in Germany during what would have been his first semester in college. During his time in Germany, Sam fine tuned his soccer know-how and learned a different game style which in his own words “helped him to play more simply”. He was a dribbler and often put too many touches on the ball but the Germans really helped him to simplify the game in a way that is beautiful and advantageous, and what he considered to be a great transition between high school and college.

When Cal head soccer coach Kevin Grimes finally saw Ebstein play his senior year of high school, all the freshman spots on the Cal 2014-15 soccer team had been filled. Still, Grimes saw talent in Ebstein and promised him a spot on the team for the next season

Ebstein found in IFX Soccer an opportunity to enhance his experience before returning to Cal. Ebstein set off for Bamberg, a small city in Germany, to play with a higher-quality club team in the Fall of 2014. “So that’s why I went there, wanted to see if I could get different sorts of coaching,” Ebstein said.

Speaking only conversational German in a less cosmopolitan area of the country made Ebstein’s transition challenging. He was living in an IFX apartment and was for the first time completely on his own. Sam took the train every day to an even smaller suburb of Bamberg to practice with his team, SV Memmelsdorf forcing him to immerse in the local culture, making daily life an enriching experience. “After a little while you meet a few people who turn out to be super helpful,” Ebstein says.

We would like to congratulate Sam on this tremendous accomplishment and wish him the best of luck with his future professional soccer career. We from IFX Soccer will continue to follow this promising young talent and encourage other young players take the opportunity to bring their soccer to higher leagues while they experience the world.

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