Highly-rated America-born goalkeeper Bobby Edwards has returned to his homeland following a string of superb performances between the posts for Bluefin Sport Championship leaders Portadown.
The summer arrival recently spent time at Premier League club Burnley and was tipped for a close-season transfer across the water into professional football.
However, Portadown confirmed on Saturday that Edwards is now back in the USA - with manager Matthew Tipton stating on the club website the offer is “an excellent opportunity for him to progress his career”.
“Bobby has received an offer to go and play in the MLS and after chatting with him over the last 24 hours I’ve told him to take up the offer as it’s an excellent opportunity for him to progress his career,” said Tipton on the Portadown website. “Obviously we would have loved him to stay for the rest of the season and Bobby wanted that more than anything but the American system for transfers is completely different from the way we are used to it here and the rest of Europe.
“It goes without saying that I and the rest of the staff and players wish Bobby all the best in the future and one day hope to see him representing USA at national level.”
Edwards posted a message on his Twitter account over the weekend: “It’s hard for me to put into words just how much this club has meant to me. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to represent this club - Portadown FC, the team for me. Thank you for everything.”
Edwards’ replacement, Danny Devine, was voted ‘man-of-the-match’ during Saturday’s league win over Harland and Wolff Welders.
The January arrival and former Armagh City number one helped secure debut success as Portadown grabbed goals from an Adam Salley double, Lee Bonis and Liam McKenna in the 4-2 victory.
Loughgall’s defeat of Ballinamallard United over the weekend means the Ports hold a six-point advantage heading into Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash at Shamrock Park.
Ballinamallard secured a 4-2 league win last month at home to Tipton’s high-flying Portadown.