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Zyen Jones departs Schalke; signs with Charlotte Independence in USL

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The 19-year-old is on the move.

FC Schalke 04 v FC Lokomotiv Moscow - UEFA Champions League Group D Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

The Charlotte Independence announced the signing of U.S. youth international Zyen Jones. The 19-year-old attacker will join the struggling USL side that is currently in 15th place in the Eastern Conference, with four points from six matches.

Jones signed with Bundesliga club FC Schalke in February of 2018, generating the usual hype and fanfare for an American joining a club in a top-four league. He made 18 appearances across all competitions with the U-19 squad, tallying three goals and three assists. Before moving to Germany, the Atlanta native played with the Atlanta United Academy, helping the U-16 team to the 2017 U.S. Soccer Development Academy championship.

“Zyen Jones is young and energetic and a really fast, direct winger that can press the game really well,” said Charlotte manager Jim McGuinness to CharlotteIndependence.com. “He’s fantastic in one-v-one situations and he carries a big threat going forward. We’re really happy to have acquired him and he’ll bring a different dynamic to the offense.”

Jones appeared with the U-17 U.S. men’s national team at the 2017 CONCACAF U-17 Championship, and took part in Tab Ramos’ U-20 national team camp in Spain in 2018.

While some may view moving from the Bundesliga to the USL Championship as a step backward, it’s understandable that a young player would prefer to play first-team soccer as opposed to toiling away in the reserves. Jones is immediately eligible to play for the Independence, starting with a match against North Carolina FC.