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English U19 international Tayo Edun on trial with Portland Timbers 2

England v Portugal - 2017 UEFA European Under-19 Championship Final Photo by Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images

There was plenty to be excited about during Tuesday night’s Portland Timbers 2 friendly against German side FC St. Pauli, but amidst the goals, the drama, and the old-school atmosphere, one name on the Timbers’ team sheet caught the eye: “Trialist”.

That trialist, Stumptown Footy can confirm, is Fulham midfielder and England U-19 international Tayo Edun.

Edun, who turned twenty on May 14th, is a left-footed defensive midfielder and left full back who came up through the Fulham youth set up. He made his debut with the Fulham U-18’s when he was 15 and his first team debut with Fulham in the English Championship at 18.

Since then, Edun has represented England at the U17, U18, U19, and U20 levels, including starting during the England U19’s winning campaign at the 2017 U19 Euros and playing all but four minutes of the competition.

This year saw Edun make two appearances with Fulham’s first team totaling 96 minutes on the pitch. While he often made the bench for Fulham, Edun spent most of his time in the 2017/18 season with the Fulham U21s in the Premier League Two where he went the full ninety minutes in each of his twelve matches.

With Fulham only a playoff win away from promotion back into the Premier League — this Saturday against Aston Villa — it seems likely that a promising but fringe youngster like Edun might be sent looking for a new club as Fulham prepare for the potential rigors of competing at the highest level in England. Edun’s potential search for a new club might also be motivated by the first-team emergence of young brothers Ryan and Steve Sessegnon at left back and defensive midfield, both of Edun’s primary positions.

Moreover, with rumors of a new infusion of allocation money aimed at bringing in talented young players on the horizon, Edun seems to be just the sort of player that the Timbers might look to bring in. It is difficult to tell if the Timbers can provide the sort of landing spot that a player like Edun could thrive in, and hard to estimate just how well Edun’s successes with the English youth national teams will translate into successes in MLS, but the simple fact that the Timbers have been able to lure Edun in for a trial speaks well of their ability to attract young and unconventional talent.

But, how did word of Edun’s trial in Portland get out?

Well, despite the initial mystery when the lineups were announced, it helped that his kit, No. 37, had his last name on it. And that the St. Pauli Twitter account mentioned his last name. From there, the sleuthing skills of Timbers fans went to work and in short order they found a photo of Edun standing outside what appeared to be a Portland hotel several days earlier -- helpfully geotagged “Portland, Oregon”.

What do you think of Tayo Edun and his trial with Timbers 2? Is he a realistic prospect for the organization? Could he be a success in Portland?