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American scores from inside own half on professional debut

January 12, 2019

LONDON (AP) — U.S. youth team player Charlie Kelman scored from inside his own half on his professional debut in England.

Playing for Southend in the third-tier League One, Kelman lobbed the Plymouth goalkeeper in the second minute of stoppage time. But it wasn’t enough to prevent Southend losing 3-2 on Saturday.

Manager Chris Powell says Kelman “was a real livewire for us and obviously he’s scored a wonderful goal.”

It evoked memories of David Beckham’s strike for Manchester United from the halfway line at Crystal Palace in 1996.

The 17-year-old Kelman tweeted thanks to the club “for believing in me and giving me this opportunity at such a young age I couldn’t be more grateful I won’t stop here.”

Kelman, who was born in the county of Essex near London, played last year for the United States Under-18s.

After being called up by U.S. Soccer, Kelman said “my dad is an American citizen and I lived out there for six years so that’s how I qualify.”

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