U.S. youth national international Kobi Henry is headed to France as it was announced that French Ligue 1 side Stade de Reims have completed a record transfer with second-tier USL Championship team Orange County SC.
Details of the deal were not disclosed, but one report stated from a source that the transfer fee was around $700,000, making it a USL record. It also states that Orange County will receive a percentage of any future transfer, pushing the fee to $1 million.
Henry has signed a five-year contract and will be start his Reims career with their reserve team that plays in the Championnat National 2.
The 18-year-old started his oddessy to the professional ranks in his native Florida the Florida Rush academy before spending time at both Orlando City and Inter Miami. He went on to sign his first professional contract with Orange County in 2020 and played a role in them winning the league title last season by making 19 appearances.
While Henry is excited at the opportunity to head to France and further develop into an elite player, he expressed his gratitude to Orange County for giving him the chance to start get his professional career off the ground.
“Orange County has really been a great part in allowing me to realize what team I want to go to and I really believe that this is a great fit for me,” he said. “The club really develops young talent and pushes young players onwards to the first team to try and get their opportunities and showcase themselves to hopefully go on to a different club after that.”
One of the aspects that led Henry to choose Reims is their focus on youth which has been spearheaded by their head coach Oscar Garcia.
“I just think it is a great place for me to develop and hopefully get an opportunity. I would say that was a big factor and just knowing that the club will help me develop and grow in the early stages of my career. I think that it is a great place to go as a young player,” he said in an interview with CBS Sports.
The 6-2 center-back will also hope his move to France gives him more looks with the U.S. youth national teams. He has played for the U-17 and U-20 teams, and was with on the U-19 team for their friendlies against England and Norway.
Henry will head to France to joins his Reims teammates for preseason training.