The Edinburgh Evening News reports that former New York Red Bulls Academy goalkeeper Wojciech Gajda is joining Scottish Premier League club Heart of Midlothian.
Hearts is currently in fourth place in the SPL. They've recently developed an interest in American players, signing midfielder Perry Kitchen and striker Bjorn Johnsen.
Gajda, 18, will play with the Under-20 squad on an amateur contract and sign a professional deal in January when the transfer window opens. He was originally committed to attend Stony Brook University, after spending time with New York Red Bulls II in USL.
The Red Bulls will not receive training compensation for Gajda. Traditionally, teams will receive solidarity payments and recoup training fees when a player signs his first professional contract with another club. However, U.S. Soccer and MLS forbid its clubs from collecting training compensation and solidarity fees. Several clubs have filed a class action lawsuit in an attempt to change the current youth payment structure.
The Red Bulls have been burned in the past by players leaving the academy for clubs overseas. In 2014, Sporting Director Andy Roxburgh questioned the point of investing in youth development if players can walk away without any compensation in return.
Gajda joins a growing group of Red Bulls players that has moved abroad to clubs such as Leicester City, Paris Saint-Germain, Manchester United, Hoffenheim, and Valenciennes instead of playing in MLS. While it's far from an ideal situation, the sustained production of talented players is a reason for optimism and a sign that the club is doing things the right way.