WASHINGTON, January 25, 2013 — Indonesia is far from being known as a soccer power. The country is ranked #156 on the FIFA rankings, far below the United States at #28. But that has not discouraged D.C. United from signing a young and up-and-coming Indonesian, the skillful midfielder. Of course, when the co-owner of club is an Indonesian businessman, it does add more logic to the move.
United this week acquired 20-year-old Syamsir Alam on loan from Belgian club C.S. Visé. The 5-foot-8, 148-pound Alam hails from Jakarta, Indonesia where he has represented his country at several youth levels. As a native of Jakarta, he shares the same hometown as one of United’s new owners, Erick Thohir, who owns numerous sports ventures in Southeast Asia and is part of a consortium that owns the Philadelphia 76ers.
Before joining C.S. Vise, Alam played for Club Atlético Peñarol of the Uruguayan Primera División as well as spending time with Dutch sides SC Heerenveen and Vitesse Arnhem, both of the Dutch Eredivisie.
Alam is famous for scoring the fastest goal in Indonesian football history on the 14-second mark.
“Syamsir is a young, attacking midfielder with good technical ability, and we look forward to having him on loan with us,” said D.C. United general anager Dave Kasper.
The Facts on Syamsir Alam:
Name: Syamsir Alam
Birthdate: July 6, 1992
Birthplace: Jakarta, Indonesia
Previous Club: C.S. Visé of Belgium
Acquired: Acquired on loan from C.S. Visé on January 25. 2013
John Haydon wrote a weekly soccer column for The Washington Times. He has covered two World Cups and written about Major League Soccer from the league’s inception in 1996.
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