The Weekly Youth Updates are getting a little facelift as they are no longer a Fanpost. But, I promise they will still have the same content. As we get set for the January Camp that will feature mostly domestic players, here’s some news about our youth players:
Nick Taitague - Attacking Midfielder, Schalke 04
Taitague was in line to be one of a handful of youth players that would take part in Schalke’s winter camp in Spain. Unfortunately, he was injured in November and was unable to make his return in time for selection. Hopefully, he can get healthy soon and continue his attempts to join Weston McKennie in the Schalke first team.
Antonee Robinson - Left Back, Everton (On Loan at Bolton Wanderers)
Bolton extended Robinson’s loan which was set to expire this week. This gives Robinson an opportunity for several more months of first team experience before he potentially makes a case for a spot in the Premier League with his parent club. He started and went the distance in their 2-1 FA Cup loss to Danny Williams and Huddersfield Town.
Emerson Hyndman - Central Midfielder, AFC Bournemouth
Hyndman got a surprise start Saturday in Bournemouth’s FA Cup clash with League One side Wigan Athletic. Bournemouth fell behind very quickly in the match and missed several opportunities for an equalizer before a free kick took a very fortunate deflection off teammate Connor Mahoney’s head into the back of the net. Somehow, Hyndman was credited for an own goal on that sequence.
Emerson Hyndman has caught some tough breaks this season and I will NOT allow him to be falsely credited with an own goal.— Scuffed (@zlebmada) January 6, 2018
Look, it was #23 Connor Mahoney whose head rainbowed the ball into the net. Hyndman was behind him. pic.twitter.com/VIgjXaquda
Regardless, he avoided being one of the 2 halftime sacrifices and in the second half, he helped Bournemouth come away with a dramatic 2-2 draw. Hyndman played all 90 minutes and his coach said that he thought he did very well, especially considering how little he’s played this year. Bournemouth will have a replay on the 16th which will decide if Bournemouth moves on in the competition. Those of us who want to see him get more looks should hope they emerge victorious to continue opportunities for rotation. So far, there are only rumors of potential loan moves during this window.
Lynden Gooch - Attacking Midfielder, Sunderland
Gooch has sustained a hamstring injury that will likely keep him out for several weeks. He missed Sunderland’s last 2 games and his return is unknown at this time. Sunderland meanwhile lost in the FA Cup to Middlesbrough 2-0.
Maki Tall - Winger/Striker, Tours FC
Maki Tall got the start on the right wing in a 4-3-3 for Tours in the French Cup on Saturday. He took his chance well by scoring both goals in 76 minutes in a 2-1 victory. Tall opened the scoring in the 9th minute before Chartres leveled in the 27th minute. But Tall found the back of the net for what proved to be the game-winner in the 43rd minute. Tall had just 2 goals in 14 games (662 minutes) in all competitions in the first half of the season. Let’s hope this brace can get him off to a hot start in the second half.
Ethan Horvath - Goalkeeper, Club Brugge
Horvath received even more bad news this week when Brugge decided to sign Vladimir Gabulov. Horvath now has to compete with 3 other keepers to earn his spot back. There are some rumors that Brugge is unlikely to hang on to so many keepers and would instead loan either Horvath or the keeper who originally replaced him, Guillaume Hubert. I think it could do Horvath some good to get a loan and get his confidence back so he can fight to reclaim his spot. Something to keep in mind for those who want to write him off: Horvath gave up 19 goals in 16 starts in all competitions before being benched (11 goals conceded in 12 league games). He saved 79.2% of the shots he faced in Belgium this season, which is far better than either of his replacements have done. He needs to regain some self-confidence and learn how to calm himself down. Hopefully he can do so.
Shaq Moore - Right Back, Levante
The news of the weekend had to be Shaq Moore getting the surprise start against Barcelona at the Camp Nou. A lot of people (myself included) thought he wasn’t going to feature much, if ever, the rest of the season. Shaq now has to be on a very short list of Americans who have had the opportunity to play on that field. On the first goal, Moore was a bit at fault for not closing space on Jordi Alba, who expertly headed into space for Messi to dispatch another world-class finish. Moore went the distance and had a golden opportunity for a goal of his own with a very nice late run into the box in the second half that was well saved by Ter Stegen. He also held his own against Messi and Jordi Alba on multiple occasions, making some very nice defensive interactions. Moore was left out of the team midweek as Coke Andujar made his first start on his loan stint from Schalke. Assuming Moore isn’t loaned out during this window, he figures to see spot opportunities for the rest of the season. His performance Sunday overall was very promising.
As always, if there is something major I overlooked, please mention it in the comments section.