Ex-US youth international goalkeeper Cody Cropper joins New England Revolution

MK Dons' Cody Cropper

The former Southampton youngster had been a free agent after being released by MK Dons earlier this summer.

MK Dons' Cody Cropper

After six years away in England, former US youth international goalkeeper Cody Cropper has returned to the States to continue his club career.

The 23-year-old Minnesota native, who was released by MK Dons earlier this summer following their relegation to League One, joined the New England Revolution as a discovery signing on Thursday and is set to compete with incumbent starter Bobby Shuttleworth for minutes between the posts.

“Cody is a player whose development we’ve been tracking the past few years,” Revs general manager Michael Burns told the MLS club’s official website. “He’s a promising young goalkeeper and we’re excited to bring him to New England.”

Head coach Jay Heaps added: “He’s an up and coming goalkeeper. He has excellent talent, he’s got a very good pedigree, trained really well and played at a high level with MK Dons and of course our U23 national team.

“When you add an American goalkeeper that has played with some international experience, you feel like you’re gaining some ground. Obviously he’s new to the group and we’re excited to get him introduced to everybody.”

Cropper, who holds a UK passport through his English-born father, first left the States in 2010 to begin his professional career with Ipswich Town before moving on to Southampton in August 2012 after failing to earn a new deal at Portman Road.

The 6ft 4in stopper went on to feature for the Premier League side’s Under-21s on a regular basis over the next three seasons, but he was released last summer without ever making his first-team debut.

Cody Cropper - Southampton

However, he managed to get his first taste of competitive club football last season after linking up with the Dons following his departure from St Mary’s, making 12 appearances across all competitions as cover for first-choice keeper David Martin before seeing his campaign cut short by a shoulder injury.

Internationally, the former Saints youngster played for the US Under-23s in March’s Olympic qualifying playoff defeat to Colombia and has also received several call-ups to the senior squad since August 2013, although he is yet to earn any caps for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side.

Kelvin Davis and Cody Cropper of Southampton warm up before the game

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