Attacking midfielder Rian Jamai has signed with the Crystal Palace academy, and will immediately join American-owned Belgian club RWD Molenbeek for the remainder of the season.

Palace confirmed the move on their website, along with the simultaneous signing and loan of American-developed, Bolivian attacker Sebastian Joffre. Both players have spent time in the FC Florida Prep Academy in Palm City.

Jamai was additionally a member of the Portland Timbers academy, where he played from 2017-2018, scoring 7 goals in 16 appearances for their U16/17 team. More recently, he spent time in Morocco in the U21 team of Maghreb de Fès.

The 20 year-old follows a similar path to current Molenbeek player Jacob Montes, who was also developed as a teenager at both the FC Florida academy and in the Portland Timbers youth setup. Montes was signed by Crystal Palace in mid-2021, and is currently at Molenbeek, after a half-season stopover in fellow Belgian second-division club Waasland-Beveren.

“I’m really excited to seek this opportunity and to see what it has in store,” Jamai stated through the Crystal Palace press release following his signing. “This is an opportunity of a lifetime so I understand what I have to do. I’m ready to put my head down and work.”

His new club Molenbeek was recently acquired by American investor John Textor, who is also a significant shareholder in Crystal Palace.

Molenbeek is currently in the hunt for promotion to the the Belgium’s top division, fighting it out with Waasland-Beveren for the promotion playoff spot.

By David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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