DURHAM, N.C.— A pair of former Blue Devils signed on with Major League Soccer this week as MLS teams make final roster moves in advance if the 2018 season. Sebastien Ibeagha returns to the MLS ranks with New York City FC and Carter Manley officially signed on with Minnesota United. Ibeagha, previously a member of the Houston Dynamo and most recently with San Antonio of the United Soccer League will bolster the NYCFC defense. The 2012 ACC Defensive Player of the Year, Ibeagha had a fantastic season with San Antonio FC, being named the USL Defensive Player of the Year. Ibeagha received 54 percent of the vote to claim the award as he anchored the league’s stingiest defense. San Antonio FC conceded the fewest goals in the league and led the way in shutouts. Individually, Ibeagha won 72 percent of his tackles and 66 percent of his aerial duals.
New York City FC Head Coach Patrick Vieira said: “I like the way Sebastien trained, he showed a lot of character, he’s physically very strong and his tactical knowledge is very interesting.
“Of course there is room for him to improve himself but I’m not worried about that because he’s a quick learner and he’s somebody who asks a lot of questions; who wants to improve.
“We’re glad and happy that we’ve managed to bring him into the squad.”
Sporting Director Claudio Reyna added: “Sebastien settled into preseason and into the team really well.
“He came in fit, he was comfortable and confident with what the coaches were asking of him. He comes from our affiliate San Antonio, so we know him really well and how well he’s played there.
Ibeagha, after graduating from Duke, spent a few seasons playing with a couple Danish clubs before returning stateside where he signed on with the Houston Dynamo. He spent the 2016 season on the Houston Dynamo roster, but did not see any game action.
New York City FC kicks off the 2018 campaign this Sunday, March 4 at Sporting Kansas City. That game will be broadcast on FS1.
Manley, an outside back, was taken by Minnesota United with the 23rd pick in the MLS SuperDraft. He was a three-year starter for the Blue Devils and had a strong senior campaign in earning All-ACC third team and All-South Region second team recognition.
“I’m excited to sign my first professional contract with Minnesota United. It’s an incredible opportunity to join this club and become a part of the community,” said Manley. “I can’t wait to get the season started!” In 2017, Manley helped Duke to it a finest season since 2011 as the Blue Devils returned to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 6 seed - the highest seed since 2006. With the Maryland native holding down the right side Duke posted seven shutouts, the most since 2013. Manley was equally as dangerous when he pressed forward, contributing five assists in 2017. For his career, he played in 58 games with 52 starts and had a goal and 12 assists for 14 points.
According to Minnesota United, Manley showed himself well during preseason outings as he played well on defense in keeping Charleston scoreless in the second half and provided quality crosses in the offensive third.
Minnesota United opens the 2018 season this Saturday, March 3 at San Jose Earthquakes.