NEW DELHI, March 24 (PTI): India international striker Sunil Chhetri is all set to sign a contract with Major League Soccer (MLS) side Kansas City Wizards in next couple of days ahead of the MLS season.
All India Football Federation sources, who were closely involved with Chhetri’s trial for the American side, said the India international will sign a contract before Kansas City play their first MLS match on Saturday.
“Chhetri will sign on the dotted lines in the next couple of days before Kansas City’s first match (against DC United) on Saturday. KC have a pre-MLS formal press conference on Thursday and his contract may be announced there,” an AIFF source told PTI.
Chhetri will become the third Indian player to play in a professional league abroad after Mohamed Salim and current national captain Bhaichung Bhutia. Salim played for Scottish side Celtic in pre-Independence days of India while Bhaichung was with English Championship side Bury FC in the second division from 1999-2002.
The 25-year-old from Delhi, who has donned India colours around 40 times, shot into prominence with his his hat-trick in the AFC Challenge Cup finals against Tajikistan in 2008 which ensured the country a berth in the 2011 Asian Cup in Qatar.
Chhetri had already secured a release from his I-League club Dempo before going for the trials in Kansas City.
He had an unsuccessful trial with English Championship side Coventry City last year. He was about to sign for another English Championship side Queens Park Rangers last year but could not do it as he could not get the work permit to ply trade in England.