- Justin Grimm
Bilegtuvshin Battogtokh Signs for U.S. Fourth Division Club
Image property of Ohio Christian University
Just weeks after Mongolian Football Central introduced Bilegtuvshin Battogtokh to the world, he is now prepared for his biggest experience yet as he has signed a 1-year deal with the Ocean City Nor'easters of the USL League Two, the fourth division of football in the United States.
The 23-year-old junior at Ohio Christian University took part in trials at the club on December 19th. Shortly thereafter, he was invited to join the team for the 14-match 2021 season, which will take place from the middle of May to the end of July. While considering which clubs to trial with, Battogtokh said that one of his main priorities was maintaining eligibility to continue to play college soccer. Because of League Two's semi-professional status, he will be able to do just that.
The Nor'easters, based in Ocean City, New Jersey, is one of the most successful clubs at its level. It has participated in the U.S. Open Cup, the top cup competition in the country, nine times. These cup campaigns have seen the Nor'easters face clubs from the country's first two divisions. Ocean City finished second in its division in 2019, while the 2020 season was cancelled completely because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It has been a steady producer of professional players, with almost 100 players moving on to professional clubs in twenty countries since 2003.
The USL League Two (formerly known as the Premier Development League) is also known as a great producer of professional players. In the 2018 MLS Draft alone, there were 66 players with League Two experience. Seven players on the latest U.S. national team roster had the same experience on their resumes.
Mongolians playing in leagues abroad continues to be a rarity. With the deal, it is extremely likely that Battogtokh will become the first Mongolian to play at this high of a level in the United States, and one of only a handful of players to reach the equivalent in other nations.
MFC will continue to follow Battogtokh very closely.
To learn more about the player, read our previous article: https://www.mongolianfootball.com/single-post/mongolian-american-aims-for-national-team-call-up
To learn more about the Ocean City Nor'easters, visit: http://oceancityfc.com/