Americans Abroad 2018-19: Youth Movement

Titans Bastard

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Michael Edwards, an 18 year old CB from DC's academy, has joined Wolfsburg's U19 team.

https://www.vfl-wolfsburg.de/newsdetails/news-detail/detail/news/start-fuer-die-u19/


How many Bundesliga clubs don't have an American on the books right now?

1. BVB: Christian Pulisic; Gio Reyna (U17) strongly rumored to be joining.
2. Bayern: Chris Richards (U19) on loan, Timothy Tillman (reserves), Justin Butler (U19), Malik Tillman (U17), Taylor Booth (U19) rumored to be joining when he gets an Italian passport or turns 18
3. Gladbach: Fabian Johnson
4. RB Leipzig: Tyler Adams
5. Wolfsburg: John Brooks, Michael Edwards (U19), possibly Uly Llanez (U19) though he could still sign elsewhere
6. Frankfurt: Timothy Chandler, Mason Judge (U17)
7. Hoffenheim: Corey Anton (reserves)
8. Hertha: Jonathan Klinsmann (reserves)
9. Leverkusen: none
10. Werder: Josh Sargent, Aron Johannsson, Isaiah Young (reserves)
11. Freiburg: Caleb Stanko, Alex Mendez (U19), Maximilian Dietz (U17)
12. Mainz: Joon Kang (U17)
13. Schalke: Weston McKennie, Haji Wright, Nick Taitague (reserves), Zyen Jones (U19)
14. Düsseldorf: Alfredo Morales
15. Augsburg: Maurice Malone (U19) - playing for German youth teams
16. Stuttgart: Max Göggel (U17)
17. Hannover: Bobby Wood, Chris Gloster (reserves / U19), Sebastian Soto (U19)
18. Nürnberg: Max Rugova (U19)


A number of these guys are non-prospects and some are German-Americans who grew up abroad, but the extent to which German clubs are uniformly dipping into the American youth market is remarkable.
 
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Titans Bastard

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Former NYCFC and SKC forward Khiry Shelton has signed in the 2.Bundesliga with Paderborn. Shelton hasn't always been healthy and with NYCFC was used on the wing (b/c of David Villa), but when he's been on the field as a center forward I've been really impressed with his hold-up ability. It's too bad he's a below-average finisher because otherwise I think he'd be in the NT conversation.

 

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After a six month loan, Chris Richards is staying with Bayern.

Sam Stejskal‏ @samstejskal
Source: U.S. U-20 CB Chris Richards' move from FC Dallas to Bayern Munich is complete. FCD will receive a low seven-figure fee w/ sell-on clause for the Alabama native, who spent second half of 2018 on loan to Bayern. @SoccerByIves reported last month move was being finalized.

Charles Boehm @cboehm
Have heard that Bayern offered Richards a 3-year deal with around $1.5 mil in total wages guaranteed. Huge for the player and his family, and FCD gets a nice return on a player who's only been in their system since 2017.
 

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Mohammad Kamara is interesting to me. Looks like he played JuCo ball for a few years and one year at UCLA. No idea if he’s American or not (article mentions he was born in Liberia, but no other biographical details), but even if he’s not USMNT eligible I’m kinda fascinated by that particular career path, given how college soccer is the enemy of all USMNT prospect watchers.
 

Titans Bastard

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Mohammad Kamara is interesting to me. Looks like he played JuCo ball for a few years and one year at UCLA. No idea if he’s American or not (article mentions he was born in Liberia, but no other biographical details), but even if he’s not USMNT eligible I’m kinda fascinated by that particular career path, given how college soccer is the enemy of all USMNT prospect watchers.
He's not American. I think he might have gone straight from Liberia to Tyler JC.

Tyler JC is a powerhouse, btw. Dom Dwyer played there for two years after washing out of England, then transferred to South Florida. A number of other MLS pros came through there as well as Yavapai JC (Alan Gordon, Roger Espinoza, Justin Meram) in Arizona.

College soccer is bad, but it will always be a useful safety net for late bloomers and overlooked players. There are also literally thousands of foreigners who come over to play every year at varying levels of the NCAA and NAIA and a number of them turn into viable MLS and USL pros as well.

Few of the very best American soccer players play any college soccer any more. Among the second tier of prospects, most are fished out of the college pool one way or another after 1-2 seasons. An example is Frankie Amaya, a decent attacking midfielder prospect out of UCLA who will go high next week. He was playing DA soccer as a HS student for Pateadores last spring. He came to UCLA in August, played over the fall, and is now going pro. No harm done, really. It's the long, long offseasons with limited training and lack of increased challenge that do prospects in over several years of college soccer.
 

Titans Bastard

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After a six month loan, Chris Richards is staying with Bayern.

Sam Stejskal‏ @samstejskal
Source: U.S. U-20 CB Chris Richards' move from FC Dallas to Bayern Munich is complete. FCD will receive a low seven-figure fee w/ sell-on clause for the Alabama native, who spent second half of 2018 on loan to Bayern. @SoccerByIves reported last month move was being finalized.

Charles Boehm @cboehm
Have heard that Bayern offered Richards a 3-year deal with around $1.5 mil in total wages guaranteed. Huge for the player and his family, and FCD gets a nice return on a player who's only been in their system since 2017.
Here's a Chris Richards hype piece.

“Out of all the center backs I’ve coached I think he’s the one with the most potential,” U.S. Under-20 coach Tab Ramos told Goal. “He has unlimited potential. All the other guys you could tell they’re good. They’re solid. I look at [Matt] Miazga, [Cameron] Carter-Vickers, Erik Palmer-Brown. I just think Richards has a really high ceiling. He also has great charisma, which other guys follow, and he makes a team better because of it.”
There aren't that many pros from the Deep South, but there are suddenly some intriguing prospects on the scene. Richards and Brandon Servania are both from Birmingham and found their way to FC Dallas. Thomas Roberts (Little Rock) is a little bit younger than those guys, but is highly regarded and recently signed a pro deal with FCD as well. J.J. Williams, a junior at Kentucky who just signed a GA deal and will go into the draft, is from Montgomery.

In 12 months, the number of pros from AR+AL has increased from one to five. Nice to see a region like that start to show signs of life. It's a big country and no metro area is close to maxing out its player development potential.
 

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from that article:
On how he would build relationships with agents and others to get young American prospects into his club:

“I get asked that a lot: How are we actually going to get two players over? I think at this level it's very relationship-driven. So certainly I have a lot of relationships with various stakeholders, whether it's youth national team coaches or top academy coaches and directors, and obviously agents are a big piece of this—many of whom I have good relationships with. I think a lot of it, the way I look at it at this level, in many ways it's almost like a college recruiting process. Because we are not going to be able to pay huge transfer fees. These kids are so young that you can't and won't give them big contracts. We just can't. They're too young. So we're going to have to craft a narrative starting from a really strong positive ownership group all the way down to infrastructure and basically selling these players on the idea that this is the best spot for them to develop from that 16- to 19-year-old age group.
I dunno if that's going to cut it if you're competing against Alianza, dude. Unless by "young American prospects" you mean "young white suburban American prospects whose parents have shelled out beaucoup bucks to pay-to-play AYSO programs".

Like, you're buying a professional sports team and that's the best you've got (he goes on to say "also, stats! also, scouting sucks.")? Nothing about hiring people away and giving them a marketing budget, about how to reach parents directly, about how to piggyback on combine tryouts, or about the other 10 even-better ideas that will occur to TB once I hit Post Reply? Whoever's giving you a couple million to buy a club must have inherited that money, Jordan.
 

Titans Bastard

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So, Charlie Kelman is a 17 year old English-American forward at Southend United. He's been scoring a zillion goals for youth teams, but it's hard to read into that too much because, well, he's at a small League One club whose youth teams aren't going up against top teams. But anyway, he made his league debut today and about 20 mins after coming off the bench, he decided to chip the keeper from midfield. That's some moxie.

 

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David Wagner has left Huddersfield Town as manager by mutual consent with the club bottom of the Premier League. More: bbc.in/2TRq298
That's tough given the amount of resources he had to work with, but not surprising given how much money is online for relegated clubs.

Now, if only US Soccer had extended it's manger search a little longer...

Wagner should have plenty of options in the Championship and probably mid-to-lower-table Bundesliga sides. He did yeoman's work getting Huddersfield up and then pulled a minor miracle to keep them there for a season. Look forward to his next stop.

Edit: The Guardian write up presents that the club would have kept Wagner on through end of the season, but Wagner was feeling burned out. Watching film for their next match - Man City - would have fried me, too.
 
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OilCanShotTupac

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He did more with less than anyone I can think of. That's not a good team. When they go down I don't think they'll challenge to go back up anytime soon. Some help from ownership would have been nice.
 

Titans Bastard

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Tim Weah made his debut for Celtic, playing the last 20 minutes, and scored:


It was against Airdrieonians on the Scottish FA Cup, but at least he began his Celtic career on the right note.

Ian Harkes also debuted for Dundee United for 20 minutes and scored.

Duane Holmes started and scored for Derby County and got MOTM. He's been hot lately and if he can stay consistent, he will find himself in camp with the US given the paucity of wingers in the pool.

No debut for Tyler Adams, who was an unused sub today.
 

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Opponent was semi-pro, so take it FWIW, but that was a class run by Weah and a pretty amazing through ball by the CB.

Weah’s off ball movement is solid and could be a real asset on the USMNT.
 

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Weah just got another goal for Celtic in tonight's league match vs St Mirren (who are shite but even so). Again it was a nice run into space to receive the through ball from Ewan Henderson and a decent finish. He was interviewed post match on Celtic TV and i like his attitude; been at the club barely a couple of weeks and he's using nicknames (Hendo & Gaffer); always a good sign. He was very positive about his fellow team-mates and the vibe in the dressing room. I think he'll do very well at Celtic. It's a great club for promising young players to flourish.

Celtic aren't running away with the league this season, so he's gonna get to play in some proper pressure games.
 

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The Chris Richards sale is now official. The fee is rumored to be in the range of $1.25 to $1.5m. I expect that FC Dallas retains a sell-on percentage as well. It's not bad business for a player who never played a first team game for FCD. It's also a nice story of the system working. Richards is from the soccer backwater of Alabama (at least for now — he's not the only prospect to emerge from that state in the last few years), was recruited Texans SC Houston, a DA club, and then moved to an MLS academy.

 

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There's been some Matt Miazga drama. He claimed he had a back injury, peaced out of Nantes earlier this week, and returned to England. Nantes' manager had some pretty harsh public words for him after that because I don't think they had any idea Miazga was just going to disappear.

Today, Reading announced they've signed him on loan for the rest of the offseason.

https://www.readingfc.co.uk/news/2019/january/matt-miazga-makes-madejski-move-on-loan/

He hadn't gotten much time at Nantes since they changed managers, so hopefully he'll do well in the second half of the season in England. Nantes to Reading isn't a step forward, though.
 

Titans Bastard

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Tyler Adams is making his Bundesliga debut right now with a start at Fortuna Düsseldorf. I just tuned in as Leipzig went up 3-0 inside 15 minutes, so things seem to be going well.
 

Titans Bastard

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Adams looked very comfortable in the Bundesliga. He covered a ton of ground as usual, won a bunch of duels, and doesn't seem like he'll need any adjustment period at all. He missed a few passes, but none in dangerous spots.

 

rguilmar

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Adams looked very comfortable in the Bundesliga. He covered a ton of ground as usual, won a bunch of duels, and doesn't seem like he'll need any adjustment period at all. He missed a few passes, but none in dangerous spots.

Agreed, he looked much more comfortable than I expected him to look, and more assertive.

Quick question for people that have seen him play more- what is his best position? I remember seeing him play more as a DM for NYRB, but he seemed slightly more advanced, box-to-box today (and looking very good at it). I don’t catch too much MLS and know others have seen him play a lot more.

Seeing Weston McKennie also playing more advanced for Schalke, almost playing as a CAM, has me curious about USMNT implications as both should be cornerstones of the team for a long time (baring injuries or something else unforeseen).
 

Titans Bastard

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Agreed, he looked much more comfortable than I expected him to look, and more assertive.

Quick question for people that have seen him play more- what is his best position? I remember seeing him play more as a DM for NYRB, but he seemed slightly more advanced, box-to-box today (and looking very good at it). I don’t catch too much MLS and know others have seen him play a lot more.

Seeing Weston McKennie also playing more advanced for Schalke, almost playing as a CAM, has me curious about USMNT implications as both should be cornerstones of the team for a long time (baring injuries or something else unforeseen).
Adams is able to cover so much ground it's hard to define his CM position. He's like having a midfielder and a half. For NYRB he wasn't usually a strict shield-the-backline DM in the Beckerman mold because that would be a waste of his workrate.

There is a minority of fans who think Adams' highest potential is at RB. He played a RWB position for much of 2017 in the 3-3-3-1 system that Jesse Marsch was using at the time. I like him as a CM.

There's a widespread thought that Adams and McKennie will be dual box-to-box CMs ahead of a DM (probably Bradley for now) in a 4-3-3. I'm always a bit nervous about rolling out a formation with only three real attackers, but collectively Adams and McKennie bring enough that it could work out.

That said, exactly zero people predicted anything close to what Berhalter rolled out tonight so who knows. The RB/CM inverted fullback position played by Nick Lima could conceivably be something that Adams could slot into.
 

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20 year old winger McKinze Gaines has gone on loan to Zwickau from Darmstadt.


Gaines scored a bunch of goals for Wolfsburg U19 two seasons ago, but was sold to Darmstadt after the season. He's barely played for Darmstadt, so dropping to the 3. Liga seems inevitable. Gaines is a speedy winger. I'm unsure of his other qualities.
 

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Low-key German-American Kevin Lankford has moved from Heidenheim to St. Pauli. He's a 20 year old winger. I've never been clear on what exactly his potential is or is not.

St. Pauli is a promotion contender this year.

 

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Former RSL academy CM Taylor Booth has signed with Bayern Munich, per Grant Wahl. This has been rumored for a while, but Booth is still just 17 and couldn't sign per FIFA regulations. However, he's acquired an Italian passport so he can be registered this window, which is great. I hate it when American players are stuck in a lengthy limbo between leaving their American club and signing abroad.
 

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Celtic signed two young American fullbacks:


Due to work permit complications, both will be going out on loan for the rest of the 2018-19 season. Andrew Gutman will be at Nashville SC and Manny Perez will be at North Carolina FC.


A division below, Queen of the South signed an American attacking midfielder, 22 year old Ian McGrath. McGrath played at Evansville and signed with Nashville in 2018, but didn't make any league appearances.

http://www.qosfc.com/news-4335


There are a few rumors of players moving back stateside:
  • Terrence Boyd from Darmstadt to Toronto
  • Gedion Zelalem to SKC on loan
 

wonderland

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Adams looked very comfortable in the Bundesliga. He covered a ton of ground as usual, won a bunch of duels, and doesn't seem like he'll need any adjustment period at all. He missed a few passes, but none in dangerous spots.

3-0 win today with Adams going the full 90. Any reports how he played?
 

rguilmar

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3-0 win today with Adams going the full 90. Any reports how he played?
He played well. He’s definitely a pain in the ass to play against- always in the passing lanes, wins 50-50s, can win balls in the air. You can see he drops to get the ball and is comfortable starting the attack. I like how he’s confident enough to take the reigns this early on.

Generally speaking he seems to pick out a good pass. Just from the couple of games I’ve seen, he needs to tighten up his touch in the final third.

 

Titans Bastard

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Due to work permit complications, both will be going out on loan for the rest of the 2018-19 season. Andrew Gutman will be at Nashville SC and Manny Perez will be at North Carolina FC.
Oops:


At first glance, this seems extremely petty from MLS / Chicago Fire.
 

Titans Bastard

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Tim Weah came into a scoreless Celtic game in the 75th minute today, got the game-winning assist, then scored Celtic's second goal.

Great first touch to settle the ball before his assist:


Does his job on the buildup and finish of a break after St. Johnstone's corner:


3 goals and 1 assist in 142 minutes so far.

The other major development is that Celtic fans, as well as the club itself in official communications, has decided that he shall be called "Timo Weah".
 

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After a very rough game, Pulisic scores to give Dortmund the lead in extra time in the DFB Pokal.
 

Kliq

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Tim Weah came into a scoreless Celtic game in the 75th minute today, got the game-winning assist, then scored Celtic's second goal.

Great first touch to settle the ball before his assist:


Does his job on the buildup and finish of a break after St. Johnstone's corner:


3 goals and 1 assist in 142 minutes so far.

The other major development is that Celtic fans, as well as the club itself in official communications, has decided that he shall be called "Timo Weah".
His first touch on that assist is sublime. I love seeing American players showcase that kind of skill; physically he looks like he could turn into a real force on the pitch, but it's skill plays like that first touch that can separate him from the Altidores of the world.
 

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The Celtic fans have already fallen in love with Weah. He's a great lad, says all the right things, and he gets it done on the field. Celtic are low on strikers at the moment. Weah came on for Edouard, who who was a sub but got injured ( and stretchered off). In short, Weah is going to get more game time, it'll be interesting to see how he handles getting a start. There's some pace in the Celtic line up, so it could be fun times.
 

Titans Bastard

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Schalke is jerking McKennie around soooo much this year.

He's played as a box-to-box midfielder, central attacking midfielder, supporting striker, outside midfielder, center forward, and now he's playing RB today.

I guess it is some parts a compliment to McKennie, an indictment of Schalke's squad, and possibly an indictment of Tedesco's tactics. I'd like for him to have some positional stability, though.
 

rguilmar

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Schalke is jerking McKennie around soooo much this year.

He's played as a box-to-box midfielder, central attacking midfielder, supporting striker, outside midfielder, center forward, and now he's playing RB today.

I guess it is some parts a compliment to McKennie, an indictment of Schalke's squad, and possibly an indictment of Tedesco's tactics. I'd like for him to have some positional stability, though.
It’s gotten pretty infuriating, but Tedesco has essentially said that McKennie is one of their most valuable players and has to be on the field. There have been long stretches of games where he was the best player on the field for Schalke, and the most creative (like last week against Munich- 1 assist and another fantastic driving run through the heart of Bayern that should have led to another goal).

Overall I think it’s mostly an indictment of the squad construction. Not enough quality in several spots, too many inflexible pieces, and the result is McKennie playing every position but GK.
 

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Sargent wins a free kick on the edge of the box in the 95th minute and Pizarro converts for the late equalizer for Bremen.
 

Titans Bastard

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Mix Diskerud update:


Ulsan Hyundai move on to a group with Shanghai SIPG (featuring Oscar and Hulk!), Kawasaki Frontale, and Sydney FC.
 

Titans Bastard

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ALERT!!!! Sargent is making his first start for Werder today. It's on FS2, which Comcast mercifully, finally carries.

 

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ALERT!!!! Sargent is making his first start for Werder today. It's on FS2, which Comcast mercifully, finally carries.

Thanks for the notice. I’ll watch this afternoon and try and keep the Harry Kane-comparison erections to a minimum.
 

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Subbed out in the 61st minute. There's not much to report, as Sargent had a quiet game and didn't look as dynamic as he has at times earlier in the season. It'll be back to sub minutes for Josh for the time being, as he adjusts to the fitness level and speed of play in the Bundesliga.
 

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what's Pulisic been up to lately? He's started around half of BVB's games, including the most recent loss at Spurs in the UCL knockout round. He's had 1 goal and 0 assists since October in 8 starts and 6 sub appearances since then.