Jalil Anibaba

Jalil Anibaba (/əˈll ɑːniˈbɑːbə/; born October 19, 1988) is an American soccer player who currently plays for Nashville SC in Major League Soccer.

Jalil Anibaba
Personal information
Full name Jalil Anibaba
Date of birth (1988-10-19) October 19, 1988
Place of birth Fontana, California, United States
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Nashville SC
College career
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2009 Santa Clara Broncos 61 (3)
2010 North Carolina Tar Heels 24 (0)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2010 Carolina Dynamo 12 (0)
2011–2013 Chicago Fire 96 (4)
2014 Seattle Sounders FC 16 (0)
2015 Sporting Kansas City 16 (1)
2016–2017 Houston Dynamo 38 (0)
2018–2019 New England Revolution 53 (1)
2020– Nashville SC 0 (0)
National team
2007 United States U18 3 (0)
2007 United States U20 1 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of October 10, 2019
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of August 4, 2012


College and amateur

Anibaba attended Davis Senior High School, where in his senior season he was the California Gatorade Soccer Player of the year, and played college soccer at Santa Clara University for the first three years of his college career. In 2009, Anibaba captained the Broncos, who were selected for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) All-West Region team.

For his senior season he transferred to the University of North Carolina, where he won numerous awards, including NSCAA Second Team All-America, NSCAA First Team All-Region, First Team All-ACC, ACC All-Tournament Team and 2007 WCC Freshman of the Year.[1]

Anibaba made twelve appearances for USL Premier Development League club Carolina Dynamo during their 2010 season.[2]


On January 14, 2011, Anibaba was drafted #9 overall in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft by the Chicago Fire.[3] He made his professional debut on March 19, 2011, in Chicago's first game of the 2011 MLS season, a 1–1 tie with FC Dallas,[4] and scored his first professional goal – a 40-yard screamer – on March 30, 2011 in a 2–1 victory over the Colorado Rapids in the qualifying round of the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup.[5] Anibaba would go on to tally two more goals in the 2011 season finale, heading home two strikes in the space of 19 minutes in a 3–2 win vs. Columbus Crew on October 22, 2011. Anibaba closed out his first season in MLS setting a club record for regular season appearances by a rookie with 29 and had his March 30 strike vs. Colorado voted the team's "Goal of the Year" by the team's fans following the campaign.[6]

After three seasons with Chicago, Anibaba was traded in January 2014 with the #8 pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and a conditional third-round selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft to Seattle Sounders FC in exchange for the #13 pick in the 2014 SuperDraft, defender Jhon Kennedy Hurtado, and defender Patrick Ianni.[7]

On December 10, 2014, Anibaba was selected by Orlando City SC with the fifth pick in the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft.[8] After the draft, Anibaba was shipped to Sporting Kansas City as part of the trade for Aurelien Collin.[9] Anibaba was dropped by Sporting Kansas City on November 25, 2015.[10]

Anibaba was released by Kansas City at the end of the 2015 MLS season and later signed with the Houston Dynamo.[11] His option was declined following the 2017 season; he signed with the New England Revolution in the 2018 preseason.[12]

On November 19, 2019, Anibaba was selected by MLS expansion side Nashville SC in the 2019 MLS Expansion Draft.[13]

Personal life

His brothers Sule and Jammil played college soccer during the 2000s for the UC Davis Aggies,[14] while half brother Josh Reese plays American football for UC Davis Aggies.[15]


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