Tampines sign American-Singaporean Raspreet for AFC Cup

Tampines Rovers have bolstered their 2017 AFC Cup squad with American forward Raspreet Sandhu from Sonoma State University.

Raspreet was born in the United States but has Singaporean heritage through his father Kalwant Sandhu, who played for Tampines Rovers too before he emigrated to America in the early 1980s.

The 23-year-old is unlikely to showcase his abilities in the S.League though, as he cannot be registered after the Stags maximised their league foreign quota with Japanese winger Ryutaro Megumi, Croatian forward Ivan Dzoni and 25-year-old South Korean Son Yong Chan.

Raspreet is an excellent player. Not only is he quick and agile, but his ball skills are outstanding

- Sonoma State University

The AFC Cup on the other hand allows up to four foreign players to be on the pitch at any one time and this will give new coach Jurgen Raab more depth, as the AFC Cup and S.League kick-off on the same week.

“Raspreet is an excellent player. Not only is he quick and agile, but his ball skills are outstanding,” Sonoma State University head coach Marcus Ziemer said.

“He is crafty on the dribble and also has excellent vision and can break teams down with his passing. He is tough to mark out of a game and is very competitive and hates to lose. Raspreet has an excellent shot with both feet and scored some big goals for us.

“Working very hard, he has always been one of the first on the training ground and the last to leave. All of his hard work has paid off.”

Tampines technical director Jita Singh went one step further and claimed the American would easily be a starter for the Lions if he had citizenship.

Raspreet has been on trial at Tampines since December, about the same time Jita joined the Stags.

“Raspreet would be starting on the Singapore national team if he was a citizen; he has great attitude and disposition,” Jita added.

Photo: Sonoma State Star