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USMNT Weekly Youth Update: Pomykal strikes twice

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Pomykal is off to a great start to the season

MLS: FC Dallas at Real Salt Lake Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports

We’re back from the March international window with lots of action on the field. Young players are contributing all over the world and starting to make editing decisions difficult. Upon request, I will continue my rating system (1-nowhere near ready yet; 5-absolutely call them up at the next opportunity) to keep some perspective on where the players stand in terms of the overall player pool. Here’s what’s going on:

United States

Paxton Pomykal - Attacking Midfielder, FC Dallas

Pomykal is off to a flying start to the season. The 19-year-old has nailed down a starting spot and is impressing with his playmaking ability. On Saturday, Pomykal started against Real Salt Lake and had a major impact. In the 32nd minute, Pomykal scored his first career MLS goal after taking a cross down between two defenders and beating Nick Rimando.

Pomykal wasn’t done either. In the 64th minute, he had his left-footed strike from the edge of the box deflected into the back of the net to secure his brace.

FC Dallas would go on to win 4-2. On top of the two goals, Pomykal made plays all over the field creating scoring opportunities. Assuming he gets released for the U-20 World Cup, he will likely be a key cog for Tab Ramos in Poland. Hopefully he can keep this up. Rating: 3

Gianluca Busio - Attacking Midfielder, Sporting Kansas City

Busio is slowly breaking through with SKC. The 16-year-old featured in his third consecutive league game, a dominant 7-1 victory over the Montreal Impact. In the 62nd minute, Busio came off the bench with SKC already manhandling Montreal 4-0. In the 78th minute, Busio pressed the backline and caused a turnover that he quickly put away for his second career goal.

Sporting Kansas City is the last remaining representative from MLS in the Concacaf Champions League and will take on Jonathan Gonzalez and Monterrey on Wednesday. For Busio, his rise at such a young age has been impressive as has Peter Vermes’ willingness to give him opportunities. Rating: 2

Griffin Yow - Attacking Midfielder, DC United

Yow signed a homegrown contract with DC United over the International window. One of the bright talents in the area, Yow has already impressed with Loudoun United, DC’s USL affiliate. Yow scored a lovely curling strike into the top corner in just his second appearance for the club. At just 16 years old, he has to develop further before we can expect him to play in MLS. But he’s one to watch with his skill. Rating: 1

Ricardo Pepi - Striker, North Texas SC

Ricardo Pepi made his professional debut last night for newly minted North Texas SC (FC Dallas’ USL League One affiliate). The FC Dallas Academy product impressed with the US U-17’s at the Nike Friendlies in November and is off to a good start to his professional career. At just 16 years old, Pepi scored a hat trick in a 3-2 win over Chatanooga. He’s smart and seems to have a great understanding of where he needs to position himsef on the field to create chances, and is deadly when he gets those chances. Here is the last of those goals following a defensive error that Pepi punishes by chipping over the keeper before finishing.

Pepi is also eligible to play for Mexico and has played for them in the past, so we’ll see if the US can hang onto him, but this was an impressive start, albeit at a very low level. Rating: 1

Germany

Tyler Adams - Central Midfielder, RB Leipzig

Adams produced yet another excellent performance for Leipzig on Saturday. The 20-year-old started against Hertha Berlin at the base of a midfield diamond and was influential throughout. RB Leipzig seized command of the game early on as Adams picked up a hockey assist on the game’s opening goal by playing a quick pass to Kevin Kampl who delivered a beautiful assist. On the game’s fourth goal, Adams produced a spectacular moment when he completely split the defense with an absurd through-ball to Yussuf Poulsen.

On top of this sparkling play, Adams was also very good defensively as Leipzig again didn’t concede. They have surrendered exactly one goal (ONE!) in the 747 minutes he’s been on the field for them since January. He’s been nothing short of fantastic since the move from MLS. Leipzig’s schedule is going to get busy and more difficult in the coming weeks with matches against Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Mönchengladbach, and Wolfsburg. Rating: 5

Alex Mendez - Central Midfielder, SC Freiburg

Mendez has carved out a starting spot on Freiburg’s U-19’s. The 18-year-old has started each of the last four matches, including Saturday’s 4-0 victory over the Kaiserslautern U-19 team. Last week, he captained the U-20 team in the final window before the U-20 World Cup. Look for him to be one of the names on Tab Ramos’ 50-man provisional roster set to release today and play a massive role in Poland next month. Rating: 2

Isaiah Young - Winger/Striker, Werder Bremen

Young scored his first goal of the season for Werder Bremen’s reserves on Sunday. The 21-year-old has had a good year for their reserves, leading the team in assists while continuing to start pretty consistently on the wing in the German Regionalliga. He still has a lot of players he has to beat out if he is to have any chance at the Bremen first team, so a loan or a move might be on the horizon soon. Rating: 1

England

Antonee Robinson - Left Back, Everton (On Loan at Wigan Athletic)

Robinson is starting to regain his form. The 21-year-old got the start again on Saturday as Wigan took on Brentford, needing points to remain safe from relegation. Robinson delivered a solid performance in helping keep a clean sheet while also doing what he does best and pushing forward into the attack. Wigan were unable to find a goal, although they did hit the woodwork and had a goal pulled back for offsides as well. The scoreless draw pulls Wigan level with Reading, four points clear from safety with seven games remaining. Rating: 4

Netherlands

Andrija Novakovich - Striker, Reading FC (On Loan at Fortuna Sittard)

Novakovich was back on the scoresheet again on Saturday. The 22-year-old started for Fortuna Sittard against Willem II and opened the scoring in the 32nd minute. On a set piece, Willem goalkeeper Michael Woud fumbled the ball off a simple save and Novakovich took advantage to poke it home for his eighth league goal of the season.

Fortuna Sittard would wind up letting the game slip away in a 3-2 loss. He now has four goals in his last seven games. Rating: 4

As always, hit the comment section to let me know if there’s anything major I overlooked or if there’s anyone you’d like to hear about. Thank you for reading!