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D.C. United signs Ian Harkes as homegrown player

Ian Harkes has signed a homegrown deal with his former academy club, D.C. United.

Hermann Trophy winner Ian Harkes signed his first pro contract on Monday, joining D.C United as a homegrown player.

Harkes, the son of former U.S. international John Harkes, was honored as the top college player earlier this month after leading Wake Forest to the NCAA championship game, which it lost to Stanford on penalties.

The 21-year-old previously played for D.C. United's academy, which made him eligible to sign a homegrown deal with the club and exempted him from the MLS SuperDraft.

"We are thrilled to have reached an agreement to sign Ian as a Homegrown player," said United general manager Dave Kasper. "He has developed into a high-level midfielder who has all the tools to be successful in MLS. We look forward to having Ian back wearing the United badge."

Harkes was also named the ACC Midfielder of the Year, the ACC tournament MVP and most outstanding player in the NCAA tournament.

Last week, the Washington Post reported that Harkes had explored options in the English Championship before opting for MLS. Harkes was born in England while his father was playing for Derby County and holds a British passport.

"I've known Ian nearly his entire life and have watched him develop into one of the nation's best young talents," D.C. coach Ben Olsen said. "He has all the tools to succeed at the next level and I look forward to being a part of his pro career."

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