US Major League Soccer club DC United announced on Friday night that it had signed Indonesian midfielder Syamsir Alam on loan from Belgian second-division club CS Visé.
“Syamsir is a young, attacking midfielder with good technical ability, and we look forward to having him on loan with us,” said DC United General Manager Dave Kasper in a statement on the DC United website.
The 20 year-old native of West Sumatra shares the same hometown as one of DC United’s new owners, media mogul Erick Thohir. Erick had promised to help develop Indonesian football when he bought a majority stake in DC United in July 2012.
Syamsir started showing his ability at an early age, helping Makassar FC qualify for the Under-11 Danone Nations Cup finals in France in 2003. He was recruited by Pelita Jaya’s junior club, and in 2006 it sent him to the Netherlands to train with top clubs Heerenveen and Vitese Arnhem. He was also called up to the U-15 national team that year.
In 2007, he was selected to take part in the PSSI program that sent young players to take part in Uruguay’s youth competition as part of a team called Sociedad Anonima Deportiva Indonesia. He scored 15 goals during two seasons in the U-17 Quinta Division and attracted the attention of Penarol, one of the giants of Uruguayan football.
Syamsir signed a one-year contract with Penarol and scored six goals in the country’s U-19 competition. He also moved up the ranks of the national team, scoring four goals in four games after being called up to the U-19 team.
He joined Vise after it was bought by the Bakrie family in April 2011, with Alfin Tuasalamony, Yandi Munawar and Yericho Christiantoko already on the roster. All four players were part of PSSI’s “Uruguay Project” youth development scheme.