Americans Abroad 2021-22: The Hype Train Is Leaving The Station

Jimy Hendrix

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Jonathan Tomkinson '02, a center back, has made the bench for Norwich City for the first time in today's match against Manchester United. He's been captaining their U23 team lately, and quite recently signed a contract extension with the club.
Obviously who knows what he could do, but based on history should we be legitimate USMNT prospect excited, or Otasowie/Vassilev “hey, that’s neat” excited?
 

Titans Bastard

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Obviously who knows what he could do, but based on history should we be legitimate USMNT prospect excited, or Otasowie/Vassilev “hey, that’s neat” excited?
Probably somewhere in between, but who knows really.

Vassilev just wasn't that good of a prospect; he was thrown into the mix because of an epic injury crisis.

Otasowie was/is a better prospect than Vassilev, but a significant lack of professionalism might prevent him from doing anything at all in his career.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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It’s nice that the USMNT is now deep enough in many positions that I don’t need to life or death follow the career of every prospect. Also makes it easier to just enjoy Americans doing interesting stuff without needing to fixate on what it means for the USMNT, like Ramirez attacking the scoring charts at Aberdeen.

This does not of course apply to the central midfield, where every child is precious.
 

Titans Bastard

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Jack de Vries, an '02 winger, made his debut for Venezia today, coming on as a sub in a Coppa Italia win against Ternana of Serie B. De Vries is on loan from the Philadelphia Union through the end of the Serie A season, and has scored seven goals in eight games in the Italian Primavera youth league so far. He was on the 2019 U17 qualifying squad, but was cut for the WC team. (Or maybe he was injured. I can't remember. He wasn't a starter anyway.)
 

bosox4283

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I'll believe it when I see it to be honest. I'm sure Xavi will be given a lot of input on transfers, but I would imagine that they need to be prioritized, and a cheap youngster seems less important to me than some other moves they need to make. Barca had two of the top young right backs in the world in Dest and Emerson, and recently sold Emerson to Spurs. I know Xavi wasn't in charge then, but the club clearly made a call on who was part of the future and who was not. Dani Alves is coming in but he can't be looked at as any sort of every week player at this point. I think most people envision this more as a mentorship for Dest.

That being said, Barca's financial difficulties are pretty well known. Dest can be sold at a pretty decent profit. Because of his wages, he's probably one of the few non La Masia players that can be moved at all for a profit. Xavi has made it clear he wants to focus on players from the Barca system, so I would guess any La Masia product with any promise will not be sold. It's pennies though compared to the debt owed, so I'm not sure it makes sense. Barcelona's larger financial issue isn't the debt necessarily, it's the wages, and Dest is one of the lower paid players. Moving some of the overpaid wingers and MF to make room for La Masia youngsters seems like a better bet to me.

Of course, Barca's transfers for the better part of the last decade make basically no sense anyways. So who knows.
I agreed with your overall message, but it seems that Xavi is determined to show Dest the door if there is a taker at the price Barcelona wants.
 

rguilmar

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I agreed with your overall message, but it seems that Xavi is determined to show Dest the door if there is a taker at the price Barcelona wants.
A few of my posts haven’t aged well. At another point I think I said that I liked the Miazga and Hoppe transfers.

I get that Xavi is prioritizing La Masia players and his former teammates but I still think this is shortsighted by Barca. That’s par for the course for Barca for the last decade though. I imagine Dest will be sold for a profit and wonder who would be interested aside from Bayern and City
 

Titans Bastard

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There's been a proliferation of reports that Pepi may be transferring to Wolfsburg.

Nobody is particularly happy about this destination.
 

rguilmar

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There's been a proliferation of reports that Pepi may be transferring to Wolfsburg.

Nobody is particularly happy about this destination.
It's looking more and more likely right now that he will join Wolfsburg. I know some fans are sorta melting down because of Wolfsburg's recent results with American academy players, but that's apples and oranges to me. This is a full transfer to the big club, not a developmental situation. This is not a club that will just drop $10 million on a player and not put him in the immediate rotation. Wolfsburg have Weghorst now, but I imagine he is off to the Prem either this window or next. They do have Nmecha, who looks really good, but he plays more of a winger role and I think just broke his ankle. They're also in a relegation battle, and they won't risk wasting money this window unless they're confident that Pepi can help immediately. In short, I'm not worried about him getting minutes this season.

However, if the concern is that he doesn't have the quality and/or consistency right now to play in a top five league, or that the pressure of coming into this situation might be too much, well that's a different thing entirely.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Kohfeldt’s Wolfsburg is even a pretty substantially different situation than his Bremen, who were a lot more broke as a club.

He’s certainly been on a miserable run since his brief new manager bounce, but people are being pretty quick to map the old template on the new situation. Bundesliga is extremely tight this year, there are 11 points between the CL places and the relegation playoff place. If Kohfeldt continues losing literally every league game they play then it’ll be a more severe problem quickly, but at this stage of the season they’re not in any relegation scrap that Tyler Adams or Joe Scally are not also in.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Not sure that being in the Brugge reserves over LAG2 is such a better situation to be worth missing a year of development or however much it was.

Pretty decent landing spot though.
 

ninjacornelius

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The Telegraph’s reporting that George Bello is being targeted by Watford. It doesn’t seem like the most stable situation over there right now, but if they get relegated I think he’d do well as a starter in the Championship at this stage of his career.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Looking likely that Daryl Dike will go to West Brom. I like it, team that needs him, manager that loves him and specifically targeted him, pretty good shot to fire them up to the EPL.

Only potential quibble from a USMNT perspective is that it’s more reps in a style wildly unlike the national team which might continue failing to convince Berhalter, but if he gets back in form and starts firing goals in I expect he’ll get calls.
 

Titans Bastard

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Looking likely that Daryl Dike will go to West Brom. I like it, team that needs him, manager that loves him and specifically targeted him, pretty good shot to fire them up to the EPL.

Only potential quibble from a USMNT perspective is that it’s more reps in a style wildly unlike the national team which might continue failing to convince Berhalter, but if he gets back in form and starts firing goals in I expect he’ll get calls.
It's official. After a lot of rumors that this would be a loan, instead it's a permanent transfer and Dike has signed a 4.5 year deal.

View: https://twitter.com/WBA/status/1477369299148984322



First reports on the fee. I think Orlando should be satisfied with this number.

The fee for Dike is undisclosed but it is believed to be in excess of £7 million.
https://theathletic.com/news/west-brom-confirm-permanent-signing-of-striker-daryl-dike-from-orlando-city/jIvN7ylZJkDb/


EDIT: plus a 20% sell-on.

View: https://twitter.com/JeffreyCarlisle/status/1477382387696693250
 

rguilmar

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I’m sorry, but does that say Augsburg?

They only have 17 goals and I think Niederlechner is their leading goal scorer with 3 (and he’s hurt) so he slots right into the rotation. $20 million is a lot for Augsburg. Of course they’re right in the relegation fight just one point clear of the play in game.
 

67YAZ

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What a start to 2022 - $30m for 2 American strikers! On the same day?!?!?

Augsburg must be very confident in the sell on potential to splash this cash on a young player from abroad in the middle of a relegation fight.
 

Titans Bastard

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I’m sorry, but does that say Augsburg?

They only have 17 goals and I think Niederlechner is their leading goal scorer with 3 (and he’s hurt) so he slots right into the rotation. $20 million is a lot for Augsburg. Of course they’re right in the relegation fight just one point clear of the play in game.
$20m is definitely a lot for Augsburg — Transfermarkt says their previous transfer record was $11.5m. It's an enormous investment for the club — so big that there is (completely unsubstantiated) speculation that Bayern is bankrolling part of it so they can pick up Pepi later if his upward trajectory continues. I'm not sure that that's true, but Augsburg are clearly making a huge bet on him.

Supposedly, Augsburg have a real striker problem so he should get to play a lot right away.
 

Senator Donut

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What a start to 2022 - $30m for 2 American strikers! On the same day?!?!?

Augsburg must be very confident in the sell on potential to splash this cash on a young player from abroad in the middle of a relegation fight.
We’ve come a long way from Juan Agudelo getting called into the national team for do-or-die matches.

View: https://twitter.com/manuelveth/status/1477691984575811588


Apparently Augsburg have an American investor, David Blitzer, who put forth his own money to swoop in at the last second.
 

candylandriots

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We’ve come a long way from Juan Agudelo getting called into the national team for do-or-die matches.

View: https://twitter.com/manuelveth/status/1477691984575811588


Apparently Augsburg have an American investor, David Blitzer, who put forth his own money to swoop in at the last second.
Don’t know whether to be disappointed Blitzer hasn’t done something like that for Palace (to my knowledge), to be encouraged that he someday might, be excited for Pepi and the USMNT, be annoyed that a competitor of Union’s got better, or to bake all those emotions into a single mediocre casserole.
 

Titans Bastard

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We’ve come a long way from Juan Agudelo getting called into the national team for do-or-die matches.

View: https://twitter.com/manuelveth/status/1477691984575811588


Apparently Augsburg have an American investor, David Blitzer, who put forth his own money to swoop in at the last second.
I don't love that the big splashing of cash on Pepi came at the behest of an American benefactor, but I think Pepi is a good enough prospect that it likely won't matter (i.e. the manager/sporting director/fans won't feel like a substandard player was forced on them with pressure to play him more than he deserves).
 

Jimy Hendrix

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In “how fast are you throwing your new US striker into things?” news, Pepi is already on the bench for Augsburg while Ismael is putting his money where his mouth is on giving Dike a mini-preseason to get fit and he’s not even on the bench. Hoppe also back on the Mallorca bench.
 

Titans Bastard

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Pepi played thirty minutes and looked lively. He made a variety of good runs, including one where he was wide open and in on goal, but his Augsburg teammate totally bungled the opportunity.
 

Jimy Hendrix

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First impressions so we’ll see how things develop, but so far I put Augsburg above Norwich but below Venezia on the “is it fun or torturous to watch this European team struggle while rooting for the American there”
 

rguilmar

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Just a random roundup of a few Yanks Abroad this weekend:
  • Yunus Musah got the start and went about 60 against Real Madrid. It was up and down, and one of his mistakes led to the third goal. Of note is that he started as a second striker. Rumors are that Valencia are open to selling Wass which would open up a CM spot.
  • Matt Miazga made his triumphant return to Alaves, going the full 90 in a 0-0 draw in a derby match against Bilbao.
  • Matthew Hoppe finally played for Mallorca after missing like 2-3 months with some mystery injury
  • Gianluca Busio started and looked pretty solid against Milan, and I believe he has logged the second most minutes of any field player at Venezia.
  • Weston McKennie went the full 90 in one of the most entertaining games of the year, a 4-3 comeback thriller in Rome (Reynolds was in the 18 for Roma). Right now, for my money, he is playing the best of any American in Europe
  • Don't look now, but Hoffenheim (Richards, for now) sit in 3rd in the Bundesliga and Marseille (Konrad) sit in second in Ligue 1. Richards look good in the first half and great in the second against Augsburg, and Konrad was definitely a spark for Marseille for the last 15 in their recent win.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Just one to keep an eye on, Folarin Balogun has joined Middlesborough on loan. The hope is that if he blossoms that he could choose the US like good friend Yunus Musah. He's eligible for the US, England, and Nigeria. Right now he's too good for the Arsenal youth setup and not good enough for the Prem.

https://www.arsenal.com/news/folarin-balogun-joins-middlesbrough-loan
This is a big opportunity for Balogun, who should have been loaned out over the summer and really needs to take the next step in his career. Boro's strikers aren't much to write home about but the club is in a fight for the promotion playoffs so nothing is going to be handed to him. Boro manager Chris Wilder has been trying to sign him since he was at Sheffield United so he'll go in with that advantage but he needs to earn everything from there.
 

Titans Bastard

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Here's a German report saying that Justin Che will be loaned to Hoffenheim. He spent the first half of 2021 on loan with Bayern's reserve team and the second half making a dozen starts for FC Dallas. Bayern were interested in getting him back, but he's going to Hoffeheim instead, which I think is good. He's been a CB/RB tweener and played mostly RB for Dallas, where his performances as a RB starter were below-average in MLS last year. He may end up at CB long-term, which would be nice because we have more RB than CB prospects.

View: https://twitter.com/berger_pj/status/1482362915185430532
 

Jimy Hendrix

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Wonder how much is that they think they can develop or negotiate him into getting Dominik Szoboszlai money (he'd be about 80% there at that price, but that's with Leipzig getting the hometown discount on Szoboszlai), and how much is that they're through the CL group stage and don't want to dismantle their team until the summer.

Not that they're getting past Bayern, but on principle it's probably a bad look to sell talent off the team when they're furthest they have ever been in the CL.
 

rguilmar

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Wonder how much is that they think they can develop or negotiate him into getting Dominik Szoboszlai money (he'd be about 80% there at that price, but that's with Leipzig getting the hometown discount on Szoboszlai), and how much is that they're through the CL group stage and don't want to dismantle their team until the summer.

Not that they're getting past Bayern, but on principle it's probably a bad look to sell talent off the team when they're furthest they have ever been in the CL.
Gotta imagine that RB would prefer to sell him in the summer when transfers tend to be for larger sums and keeping him through the CL knockout stages. Hell, if he performs well more suitors can emerge. Milan is still out there too. Plus they probably want more time to identify a replacement (cough Caden Clark cough).
 

rguilmar

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So Tim Weah returned to the Lille squad and came off the bench yesterday. That one kind of took me off guard a little as I didn't expect him back so soon. I do hope he gets a call in for the upcoming camp even if it's for sub appearances a la Pulisic last time.
 

67YAZ

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Club Brugge is showing interest in Chicago's young GK Chris Brady '04. Brady is a highly regarded prospect, but so far they've given time to Gaga Slonina who is another big GK prospect of the same age.
Wow. Brady is still in high school. Very aggressive of Brugge to be in pursuit of Brady for a year already. Unless your name is Buffon or Donnarumma, it’s so he’s to project the outcome for a teenaged keeper. But that the Fire have 2 such high quality prospects?

Maybe there’s a little more substance to the Gaga to Europe rumors. Can’t imagine Chicago losing both of these kids.
 

cromulence

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Josh Sargent just scored an outrageous goal. You read that right. 10 minutes after not being called up.