It was another eventful week for young Americans as all the leagues have now returned from their winter breaks. Here’s some updates on how they’re doing.
Jonathan Amon - Winger, FC Nordsjaelland
Amon’s hype train seems to be picking up some steam in Denmark. The 18-year-old has been the subject of several pieces from the Danish soccer media discussing him as the next big thing after his explosive breakout performances in December.
FC Nordsjaelland and U.S U-20 winger Jonathan Amon continuing to get impressive headlines in Denmark pic.twitter.com/3KgXdFlyiN— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) February 8, 2018
He also had an impressive performance at the USYNT summit held in early January. Goal did a very nice article on the young winger which explains his interesting and unusual backstory in excellent detail. Amon came off the bench in the 62nd minute in Nordsjaelland’s 2-1 loss on Sunday in their first match after returning from the winter break.
Julian Green - Striker/Winger, VFB Stuttgart (On Loan at Greuther Furth)
Green started again on Sunday as Greuther Furth beat Dynamo Dresden 1-0. Green has been a consistent starter for months for Greuther Furth and now seems to be on his third position. He played on the Left Wing at first before they moved him to Striker. Now he’s playing more of a CAM role behind recently acquired Fabian Reese (On Loan from Schalke). The good news is they’re giving him lots of chances and he continues to look lively and dangerous. The bad news is the production has not been there. He has just one goal without any assists in 1,240 minutes this season. Julian Green needs to be able to turn his solid effort into production if he intends to make it in the Bundesliga next year.
Junior Flores - Attacking Midfielder, Borussia Dortmund
Flores has been taking part in BVB II’s camp in Spain this week and played a half in one of their friendlies. Flores has struggled mightily with injury problems that have slowed his development. While his injury problems have certainly not helped, he’s been used very sparingly with their reserves when healthy. This is why his decision to renew his contract last summer was curious. He’ll be 22 in March, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the talented playmaker this summer.
Robinson had another MOTM level performance on Saturday, helping Bolton share points with red-hot Fulham (Fulham hadn’t dropped points in the league since December and had won 7 out of 8). He picked up an assist for the second straight week in the 1-1 draw as he continues to impress in the Championship. Bolton has continued to struggle to score goals, but they have been pretty solid defensively of late. Robinson, in particular, has improved tremendously in this regard.
Rafael Iacovelli - Central Midfielder, AC Cesena
Iacovelli hails from the New York area and is a product of Manhattan Kickers FC. He moved to Italy in 2015 and has made his way to the academy at Cesena. Currently with their U-19’s, he is set to turn 18 in a couple weeks. In 12 appearances this season, he has scored 1 goal. Cesena have spent time in recent years in Serie A but are currently in Serie B, the second division in Italy. Recently, he became a fixture in their starting 11 with some U-19 players getting promoted to the first team. Iacovelli has never been called up to any level of the USYNT’s. Let’s hope he can develop into a good player in Italy.
Andrija Novakovich - Striker, Reading (On Loan at Telstar)
Novakovich scored a goal and earned MOTM honors in Telstar’s 3-3 draw with Jong Ajax (Ajax’s U21 team). In 23 Eerste Divisie matches, he now has 12 goals and three assists. The goal was a beauty as he took an outstanding touch in traffic to propel his run before calmly finishing past the keeper. Novakovich continues to look like he’s ready for more. We’ll see if Reading gives him that opportunity this summer.
Shaq Moore - Right Back, Levante UD
Moore hasn’t had any more first team minutes since he started the Copa del Rey loss on January 11th. He has made the bench a few times, but he’s mostly been playing with the reserve side. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem to be having a negative effect on his attitude. He did an interview with Marca this week speaking about his current situation as well as his desire to be part of the building process toward Qatar in 2022. In the article, I thought he showed great maturity by accepting that his time with the reserves is due to him having things he needs to improve in his game. Let’s hope he can make the necessary improvements in order to get back in the picture in La Liga.
Reggie Cannon - Right Back, FC Dallas
The 19-year-old academy product seems poised to be the starter this year for FC Dallas. Cannon appeared twice in the US Open Cup last season, starting in their 4th Round and Round of 16 victories last June. He also did make 1 MLS appearance as a time-wasting substitute. But Cannon has been the featured right back for FC Dallas in the preseason. He has nice touch and seems to have good awareness defensively. I’m always excited to see young players get a shot to prove themselves. It would be great if Cannon can cement his spot. Check it out this thread to get an idea about Cannon.
Marcelo Palomino - Attacking Midfielder, Houston Dynamo
The 16-year-old has turned some heads by getting a shot with the Dynamo first team in the preseason. Palomino usually plays centrally but featured on the right wing for the first team. After getting a look in preseason, he was then called in to take part in the US U-18 camp held this week. He won’t be 17 until May. Let’s hope he can push to get some minutes this year although next year seems far more likely.
Chris Goslin - Central Midfielder, Atlanta United
Alanta United has arguably the most talented team in the MLS heading into the upcoming season, but they do have one position that needs to be filled. The all-important “6” position could to be up for grabs, and young Chris Goslin seems to be making his case. He had an impressive preseason performance off the bench against Nashville, instantly putting his stamp on the game defensively and with his passing. It would be surprising for the 17-year-old to win the job, but look for him to get some minutes this season if he continues to progress.
Should absolutely, 100%, be starting for ATL this spring. Alas, I can only imagine how it will end up. McCann - an inferior player who they have invested more $ in - will start ahead of Goslin. #USMNT https://t.co/N6ZjD82Z5g— Don't Tread On Us (@DontTreadSoccer) February 11, 2018
As always if there is something major I missed this week, please let me know in the comments section. Thank you all for reading!