In an effort to keep readers up-to-date on the litany of young American standouts stationed abroad, OWTY will periodically bring you updates on their progress.
As the European season nears it’s midway point, let’s take a look how some Americans have fared in recent weeks.
Joe Gyau- Hoffenheim II
Simply put: Gyau is ballin’. After an up and down loan spell with St Pauli last season, the 21-year old has come into his own for the Hoffenheim reserves, showing he’s likely ready for the next level. In a 3-0 win over Mainz on Saturday, Gyau was involved in two goals, delivering a well-placed assist on the second and drawing a penalty (after a nice pass from USMNT-eligible Fabian Hurzeler) that was converted late in the match. Highlights can be seen here at the 9:00 mark. Gyau currently leads Hoffenheim II in most relevant statistics—starts, appearances, minutes played and goals.
Lynden Gooch- Sunderland U18
The California-native continues to impress for Sunderland U18. Last week, Gooch picked up two goals, an assist as well as drew a penalty kick during a 7-0 drubbing of Bolton Wanderers. Gooch has been an offensive dynamo and a fulcrum in attack all season for the Black Cats. A threat in distribution or in front of the net, he is running roughshod over U18 competition and more than passes the eye test. He has eight goals, five assists and has drawn three penalty kicks (all converted) in 13 appearances this season.
Russell Canouse- Hoffenheim U19
The Hoffenheim U19 captain notched his first goal of the season on Saturday in a 1-1 draw with Mainz. In the 34th minute, Canouse got on the end of a lofted cross, looping it top corner past the keeper for his second goal with the club. Highlights can be found at the 4:34 mark. Canouse also picked up an assist in last week’s 4-1 win over Waldorf Astoria. The club currently sits third, two points from the top of the U19 Sudwest table.
Benji Joya, Daniel Cuevas and Herbert Robinson- Santos Laguna U20
Congratulations to the trio are in order after Santos Laguna U20 captured the Liga MX Apertura title two weeks ago against Club Leon. Both Joya and Robinson featured in the win, while Cuevas did not make the game day roster. In the aftermath, however, both Joya and Cuevas appear to be on the way out for Los Guerreros. Cuevas has already signed for Mexican second division club BUAP Lobos, while Joya is heavily rumored to be joining Liga MX outfit Puebla in the coming days.
Caleb Stanko- Freiburg II
Stanko once again started for the Freiburg reserves on Saturday, going 90 minutes in a scoreless draw with Kaiserslautern II. Heading into the winter break, the 20-year old has started 17 of 18 for the club as a defensive midfielder and has been garnering increased attention from the Freiburg first team. Cheap plug: here’s an interview I did with Stanko last week about his big year and what lies ahead.
Zack Pfeffer- Hoffenheim U19
After a year-long loan stint with the club, the U20 midfielder has finally returned stateside. There has been no word of additional agreement, so it appears that Pfeffer is here to stay and could be in line to earn a spot with the Philadelphia Union first team when preseason training gets underway next month. In an interview with the team’s website, Pfeffer –who signed with the Union at age 15—has no doubt matured. “[I’ve grown in] the technical aspects, tactical aspects, strength-wise. You have to give it 100 percent at all times. It’s about giving everything you have all the time on the field.”
Djair Parfitt-Williams- West Ham U18
After scoring a hat trick in his return from injury Nov. 16 against Reading, the Bermuda-born striker was once again thrust into the starting lineup for West Ham U18 last week, who toppled an Emerson Hyndman-less Fulham, 3-1. Williams equated himself well in the outing and nearly scored in the win. He hasn’t featured yet for the U.S., but expect that to change in 2014.
Mario Rodriguez- Borussia Monchengladbach II
The former U20 forward has been quiet since leaving Kaiserslautern for ‘Gladbach in the summer. He’s featured mostly as a late game substitute for the club, but recently found himself in the game day XI for two late November fixtures—his first starts since August. Despite making 14 appearances this season in the German fourth division, Rodriguez remains scoreless in 400 minutes. On Friday, the club wraps the first half of their season against Bochum II.
Emerson Hyndman-Fulham U18
Hyndman continues to nurse an injury that kept him from featuring at the recent USMNT U20 camp in Italy. He has missed two consecutive matches for Fulham, who still top the U18 Premier League South Group.
Kris Scott- Swansea City U21
Despite being a fixture for the side as of late, Scott did not feature in the club’s recent penalty kick loss to Watford in the third round of the U21 Premier League cup. Swansea’s scheduled match with Fulham on Saturday was postponed.
Paul Arriola- Club Tijuana
Arriola was still recovering from a hamstring injury and did not feature for the Xolos in the recent U20 Apertura semifinals against Leon. Tijuana could’ve used Arriola, as they were eliminated on goal differential.
Piakai Henkel- Fagiano Okayama
The 18-year old American born forward recently made the game day roster for Fagiano’s penultimate match of the season on Nov. 16. It was the first time that he had featured beyond a reserve level for the J-League second division club.
Omar Thompson- Wigan Athletic U18
Since returning from U.S. U20 camp, Thompson has yet to make an appearance for the Latics.