Michee Ngalina is back in Major League Soccer after a productive stint with Colorado Springs Switchbacks.
The Switchbacks and Los Angeles FC agreed to a loan with the option of a permanent transfer on Wednesday, just ahead of the MLS roster freeze deadline. The move was officially announced on Tuesday.
If LAFC decides to keep Ngalina after the loan expires, the Switchbacks will receive the highest transfer fees in United Soccer League history, possibly double the previous mark, according to a team statement. .
“I’m going to miss him,” Switchbacks coach Brendan Burke told The Gazette after Wednesday’s game. “It was a pretty emotional day for all of us, but the reality is that now was the time for him to leave, and for the club, this is a potentially historic transfer level for the league.”
Ngalina and Burke worked together at Bethlehem Steel, the Philadelphia Union reserve team, before the winger joined the Union first team in 2019. He joined the Switchbacks in 2020, reuniting with Burke and scoring eight goals and eight assists in 21 appearances for Colorado Springs.
“As a 21 year old kid, having the level of talent, having the drive, having the commitment to show off the numbers he’s posted this year, but also do a lot of dirty and defensive things that he does. made for us, “said Burke.” He has matured a lot since his time with us in Bethlehem.
The move is the first of what management of the Switchbacks hope will be a trend for players to use their time in Colorado Springs to advance their careers and bring additional income to the club. While the exact terms of the deal have not been released, the Switchbacks will receive loan fees for this season, according to the team’s statement. If LAFC signs Ngalina into a new contract, Switchbacks will receive an agreed transfer fee, while an additional payment could come in the form of performance-based incentives and a percentage of future transfer fees paid to LAFC if Ngalina makes another movement.
“Michee’s decision validates that Switchbacks FC is in a new era where the team can compete with the best in USL, individuals can perform and earn the opportunity to pursue their dreams of playing in the USL leagues. high level, and football operations can contribute to a sustainable business model for the club, “Switchbacks manager Brian Crookham said in the team statement.” Michee certainly deserved the opportunity ahead of him. staff work hard every day to ensure that recruiting and training this caliber of player will allow others to follow in Michee’s footsteps.
Ngalina was not with the squad for Saturday’s 2-1 win at Rio Grande Valley, and the club continue to move forward with their home playoff push on Saturday against Austin Bold.