|Szabolcs Schön signs with FC Dallas (Photo: Károly Árvai)|
What our portal has already indicated became reality: Szabolcs Schön, MTK Budapest's player, has signed with FC Dallas in the American professional league, MLS. The transfer became official on Wednesday afternoon as the club in Budapest and the American club's website confirmed the transfer. The American club also announced that Schön has signed a three-year contract, as we previously had indicated, but Dallas also has the option for another one-year extension.
Szabolcs Schön, who is turning 21 in September, arrived to MTK from Ajax's youth team in spring 2019, and he scored eight and four goals in 27 NB I and 17 NB II games respectively.
According to MTK Budapest's website, the blue and whites were trying to get the winger to play football for them in the spring, which is understandable since Dániel Gera and Máté Katona had already said goodbye to the club in the winter (they left for Ferencváros where Roland Varga came from). As far as our portal knows, Balázs Polyák, sporting director of the blue and whites, and André Zanotta, the Brazilian technical director of Dallas, already agreed on the transfer at the beginning of 2021, and finally the clubs managed that the footballer would move to Dallas in May at the end of the NB I season, after the start of the MLS, but before the transfer deadline ends. (The purchase price is a trade secret, but we think that it is the largest amount – about 1.2 million Euros – an NB I club has ever received for a Hungarian player in the last decade.)
André Zanotta is professional interlocutor, and was previously the sporting director of Santos, Sport Recife and Gremio in his home country. He worked at Santos when Barcelona bought Neymar from the club in 2013, while as Gremio's manager, he celebrated the Libertadores Cup victory in 2017.
"When I signed with MTK, it was no secret that I would like to play football abroad," said Szabolcs Schön, who last scored a great goal in Paks. “It was never a question vwhether it was the right decision to sign here. It attracted me what the club had to offer and what they had promised was met. I got the opportunity to play among the adults, they trusted me, and I just had to reciprocate them with a good performance. I worked in every training session to benefit the team. I knew I would get a chance to move up from MTK, and I can show myself here. I owe MTK Budapest a lot. I got a lot of help from them."
Szabolcs Schön will not be the first player to play football in the American league. In recent years, among others, Botond Baráth, Krisztián Németh, Zoltán Stieber have played in this league, and Daniel Salló is still playing for Sporting Kansas City.
"The contract with Dallas is a great opportunity," Szabolcs Schön said. "MLS has improved a lot over the last few years. In the past, clubs have mainly looked for experienced players whereas now, they are discovering young players, more and more of whom are being transferred from the United States to the strongest European leagues."
That's true for Dallas, too. André Zanotta's name was heard by football fans when 19-year-old right-back Bryan Reynolds of the Texan team was bought by Italian club AS Roma for 6 million Euros. Also, his name came up when Justin Che joined Bayern München which is a big deal even if the Bavarians are counting on him in the U19 for the time being. So, it's a big step in Szabolcs Schön's career, but the young attacker doesn't care about the American dream yet.
"I am happy the transfer window is over, but I'm still here working for MTK's success," he said. "I want to score goals and assist in goal passes. I am very motivated to finish as high as possible in the league and to advance to the Hungarian Cup finals. I am leading the domestic goal scoring list, which is important to me, and I want to finish in the top as well.”
Translated by Vanda Orosz