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Leeds United: Whites take Nigerian defender on trial

Leeds United could be set to capture another Major League Soccer prospect after offering a trial to Nigerian defender Babajide Ogunbiyi.

The centre-back has flown to England from the United States to take up his invitation from Leeds, and he was beginning his trial at the club's Thorp Arch training complex this morning.

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Ogunbiyi, 22, has emerged from America's college system and was selected by MLS club New York Red Bulls during the league's 2009 draft, but he is still to take up a contract with the east-coast club and could follow Leeds striker Mike Grella in beginning his professional career in Europe.

United signed Grella on an 18-month contract in February after a successful trial, capturing a player who turned down an offer from MLS side Toronto FC in order to secure a contract with an English club.

Grella's CV included appearances for the USA's Under-18 and Under-20 teams and Ogunbiyi, who holds an American passport, has been involved with a number of Nigeria's international squads.

The 6ft 4ins centre-back was among the players selected for the African Nation's 2008 Olympic team pool, and New York were hopeful of adding Ogunbiyi to their squad from Santa Clara University in California. United will make an initial assessment of Ogunbiyi this week before deciding whether to take a more detailed look at the defender.

Grella spent around a fortnight with Leeds before agreeing terms on the last day of the winter transfer window, and the 22-year-old has played in six first-team matches as a substitute since signing his 18-month deal.

 
 
 

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