Marc Pelosi is back in action. Finally.
The 20-year-old returned to the field on Monday, coming off the bench in the 76th minute for the Liverpool U-21's and ending a 14-month stint on the sidelines after suffering a broken leg in February 2013. While Pelosi may have not done a ton in his cameo appearance, his return was a big deal to Liverpool, who consider the American one of their brightest young players.
Pelosi signed for Liverpool in 2011 after the U-17 World Cup, where he captained the U.S. to the knockout stages. He had interest from several clubs so the Reds were ecstatic to have captured him and he immediately showed why. The American was excellent and worked his way up to the Liverpool reserves, where he had three goals in 11 matches at three different positions -- left back, left wing and central midfield.
Liverpool overhauled their youth system shortly before signing Pelosi, building it with former Barcelona coaches. That required a significant investment, making it clear that the club was putting a heavy emphasis in their academy. To see Pelosi fly through it and to the fringes of the senior team -- he was named to the Europa League roster just before his injury -- was encouraging not just for the club, but for Pelosi and the U.S.
Pelosi remains one of the top prospects the U.S. has, even if he hasn't played in 14 months. He has been praised for his intellect and technique, something that is often missing among Americans, but an emphasis for the next generation under the direction of Jurgen Klinsmann. Toss in that he is left-footed and has proven to be versatile and you have someone who could be a fixture in the U.S. senior team before long.
Of course, all this speculation is dependent on Pelosi's return to health and the continuation of his development. Now that he is finally back on the field, we'll get to see whether he'll make good on that potential, for Liverpool and the U.S.