In an effort to keep readers up-to-date on the litany of young American standouts stationed around the world, OWTY will periodically bring you updates on their progress.
Let’s take a look how some Americans have fared in recent weeks.
Julian Green :: Bayern Munich
Does anyone else feel the same impending sense of dread when it comes to Florida-born, Bayern-molded attacker Julian Green? With every passing day, as the 18-year old moves his way closer and closer to Pep Guardiola’s roster sheet, he seemingly moves further and further away from a U.S. kit. Can you blame him, really? He’s recently been profiled as one of the top-20 most exciting talents in German football, and could potentially have his choice of national teams by the time the next World Cup rolls around. Will Klinsmann make him an offer he can’t refuse in order to get him into an American camp before Brazil?
Emerson Hyndman :: Fulham FC
Fresh off a successful appearance at the annual VGH Cup indoor tournament in Germany, where the 18-year netted twice on route to a third-place victory; Hyndman made perhaps the biggest leap of his professional career on Monday by debuting for the Fulham U21 reserves in a 1-0 win over West Ham United. Entering the match in the 81st minute, Hyndman played his customary role in the center of midfield during the win. Coming off an extended Winter break, this could signal a permanent move to reserves for Hyndman who has long been a dominant force for the Whites U18 side.
Danny Barbir :: Manchester City
Hulking U.S under-17 centerback, Danny Barbir netted a goal for Manchester City this week, part of a 6-1 win over Chicago Fire academy in the ALKASS International Cup. Designated as a “guest player” by City, Barbir has received rave reviews and continues to train on and off with the club, with the idea that it’s only a matter of time before he is offered a deal to officially suit up with the Sky Blues. Barbir and Man City take on Barcelona in the final match of the tournament on Wednesday.
Junior Flores :: Borussia Dortmund
In other huge news, under-20 midfielder Junior Flores saw his first minutes with the Borussia Dortmund reserves last week, playing 45 minutes and registering an assist in a 2-0 win over Rot-Weiss Essen. On Friday, Flores once again saw time, entering as a late substitute and playing seven minutes in a 2-0 win over Dynamo Dresden. All set to sign a pro contract with the German super club, and with the Bundesliga season set the resume shortly; no better time for Flores to show out and make an impact.
Paul Arriola and Alejandro Guido :: Club Tijuana
The two young, American Xolos both saw time for Club Tijuana’s second division affiliate, Dorrados during Copa MX action last week. Arriola got the start, playing 90 minutes and scoring a goal in the 3-1 win over Estudiantes Tecos. Guido, who has yet to see minutes for the Tijuana senior team, also featured for 25 minutes as a substitute.
Alonzo Clarke :: Bethesda-Olney
Meet Maryland teen Alonzo Clarke, who currently stars for the Bethesda-Olney USSDA U16 squad. According to a recent interview with the 16-year old, Clarke is all set to accept his second invitation to train at Old Trafford with Manchester United. While his citizenship status is not completely verified, OWTY can report that Clarke “has family in the UK, and his passport is currently being processed.” We will continue to look into the matter, but Clarke is certainly someone to keep an eye on going forward.
Daniel Cuevas :: Lobos BUAP
Cuevas made his professional debut Tuesday night during Copa MX play, entering as a late substitute for Mexican second division side Lobos BUAP, playing 23 minutes in a scoreless draw with Veracruz. After seeing little playing time for Santos Laguna’s cup winning U20 side, Cuevas transferred to Lobos in December. He has yet to feature during league play but if his inclusion in the cup squad is any indication, he could be well along his way to a first-team appearance.
Mukwelle Akale :: Minnesota Thunder
Apropos of nothing much; this is just a really nice goal by Minnesota phenom Mukwelle Akale (sequence starts at 4:00). Akale recently featured as part of the U.S under-18’s, twice defeating the U17 squad in a series of head-to-head friendlies early in the month.
Mario Rodriguez :: Borussia Monchengladbach
Despite his lack of goal scoring form, the former U-20 forward continues to fight for minutes for the Borussia Monchengladbach reserves. In a friendly last week, Rodriguez put in a 90 minute shift, but once again failed to find the scoring touch in a 3-0 win over Kickers Offenbach.
Lynden Gooch :: Sunderland AFC
It’s been a tough couple of weeks for Gooch and the Stoke City U18’s. Facing back to back fixtures against rival Newcastle, the Black Cats were decimated in both matches, losing 1-0 last week and falling 4-0 in the return bout during FA Youth Cup action on Monday. Gooch started and played 90 minutes in both matches. In case you forgot what Gooch has been capable of this season–already with nine goals and nine assists–this page of GIF’s will be a healthy reminder.
Omar Thompson :: Former (?) Wigan Athletic
Confirmed by the latest U.S under-20 roster, Omar Thompson appears to longer be affiliated with Wigan Athletic. Thompson had been featuring for the U21 reserve team, but has been kept out of the side as of late. That, in concert with a recent tweet from Thompson indicates the teenager may looking for a change of scenery. The timing remains odd, as Thompson reportedly signed a professional contract with Latics in September. OWTY will continue to monitor the situation.
If you get a chance, head over to the U.S Soccer website and check out the “Opportunity Knocks” series, featuring members of the U.S under-17 national team. It’s a good primer for some great up-and-coming American talent.
Until next time…