The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (S.I.M.A.) is pleased to announce that senior midfield sensation Pape Alassane Gassama, after completing his senior year academically at Montverde Academy, has just signed a multi-year professional soccer contract in Europe.  After recent trial stints in Denmark and Germany, Gassama signed his first pro contract in Ligue 2 of France with US Creteil-Lusitanos.  Gassama joins MVA and S.I.M.A. alumni Oumar Diakhite (S.C. Olhanense/Portugal) and Luke Vujanovic (FK Lovcen/Montenegro) as the third Montverde Academy student-athlete from the MVA boys’ soccer program since 2012 to sign a professional contract in Europe.

“Having spent the last two years as a student athlete at Montverde Academy, Gassama has worked tirelessly in the classroom and on the field of competition to earn this opportunity,” said S.I.M.A. Director, Mike Potempa.  “He has had significant interest from Major League Soccer and several teams from Europe throughout the spring and we are certainly pleased to learn that he has now found a home in Paris to begin his professional career.”

Gassama arrived on the campus of Montverde Academy in the fall of 2013 and was enrolled as a full time student and athlete in the S.I.M.A. program.  “My experience over two years at Montverde Academy was incredible,” Gassama wrote Coach Potempa in a recent email exchange.  “I am thankful to Dr. Kesselring for allowing me the opportunity to study at MVA and I am grateful to the teachers, coaches, and teammates of the S.I.M.A. program for preparing me for professional football and life. – My dream has come true, but it’s just the beginning.”

As a defensive midfield player, Gassama was a mainstay in the starting 11 of the elite S.I.M.A. year around training program and will now take his trade to 1st team football in one of the most competitive countries in the world.  “I have no words to express how I feel right now,” Gassama said.  “I learned so many things during my time in the United States, but what I learned besides top level football training is also how important my education is to my future.  If I had not taken my schooling seriously in previous years, I would have never been able to get to where I am today and I am thankful to everyone who has helped me along the way.”

“It’s a celebration for us all at Montverde Academy,” Potempa added.  “It gives further validation that there is no substitute for hard work and that education can be the central focus of holistic athletic development at the highest level.  We are extremely proud of Gassama, wish him well, and look forward to watching his professional career unfold in France.”