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USMNT Weekly Youth Update: The Winter Transfer Window Closes

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More Americans were on the move, while some surprises remained with their clubs

Milton Keynes Dons v Chelsea U21 - Checkatrade Trophy Second Round Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images

This week saw even more movement for several American youngsters as well as several very good club performances.

England

Kyle Scott - Central Midfielder, Chelsea FC

The biggest surprise of the winter transfer window is that Kyle Scott is remaining at Chelsea. Last summer, Scott was denied a loan move to Reading on Deadline Day as the Danny Drinkwater deal reached the late hours. Rumors about potential moves to Leicester City or Huddersfield Town during the Winter window were swirling, but ultimately nothing was done. Scott has made the first-team bench on several occasions this season, but he has yet to make his Chelsea debut. Recently, Scott has been back playing with the U-23 team. In fact, they are the first academy team have reached the Semifinals of the Checkatrade Trophy with Scott playing a significant role. Scott was named to Chelsea’s Champions League squad of 25 players. We’ll see if this was the right move and if he can see the field for the London giants before the end of the season.

Emerson Hyndman - Central Midfielder, AFC Bournemouth

Hyndman also appears to be staying with his Premier League club. The 21-year-old was rumored to return on loan to Rangers or to move to Sunderland. It was not to be and as has been the norm, he was not in the squad on Saturday. Hopefully he can get a legitimate chance before the end of the season. After this year, 2 years remains on the creative midfielder’s contract.

Cameron Carter-Vickers - Center Back, Tottenham (On Loan at Ipswitch Town)

Carter-Vickers was very solid in his second match with Ispwitch Town following his move from Sheffield United. He was a rock defensively as they kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win over struggling Sunderland. His performance landed him a spot in Whoscored.com’s Championship Team of the Week. Let’s hope CCV can keep up this level of play!

Antonee Robinson - Left Back, Everton (On Loan at Bolton Wanderers)

Robinson played a key role in Bolton’s 1-0 victory on Friday. Deployed as a Left Wing Back in a 3-5-2, Robinson was very good defensively and made the key pass (a sublime flick) that sprung Sammy Ameobi for the game’s only goal. He continued to flash signs of excellent play defensively. He did struggle at times with his touch, particularly in the first half. But overall, it was another promising performance from the 20-year-old. Let’s hope he keeps it up.

Germany

Nebiyou Perry - Striker, FC Koln

Perry moved from AIK Solna in Sweden to the Bundesliga over the winter break, signing with FC Koln. The 18-year-old striker is a dual national who has played for both Sweden and the United States at the youth level. Most recently, he was part of the USYNT Summit held in early January. Apparently, Koln’s GK Brady Scott did some recruiting to get Perry to join him in Germany. Perry played sparingly in Sweden (1 appearance in Europa League) and figures to play with Koln’s reserves. Koln seem destined for relegation to the 2. Bundesliga, which could ultimately make this a good idea if he can show enough quality to make it in Germany. Good luck Nebiyou!

Alex Vedamanikam - Striker Eintracht Braunschweig

The 19-year-old left the University of New Mexico to sign with the 2. Bundesliga squad last week. Vedamanikam spent three years in Real Salt Lake’s Academy before attending college. He was called into a U-18 camp in January of 2016. Braunschweig currently occupy the 12th spot in the 2. Bundesliga. Let’s wish the kid luck as he attempts to carve out a career in Europe.

Christian Pulisic - Winger, Borussia Dortmund

Pulisic picked up an assist in 72 minutes in Friday’s 3-2 victory over FC Koln. While that was certainly a fine moment in the match, Pulisic overall continues to struggle with his decision making. Minutes before his assist, Pulisic’s indecision would lead to a turnover that Koln punished on the counter for the tying goal. Quietly, he’s actually had a pretty sub-par season. Since September 20th, he has a grand total of 1 goal and 1 assist in all competitions. Pulisic needs to find his rhythm or he will find himself on the bench. Hopefully this assist gets him going once again.

Netherlands

Matt Miazga - Center Back, Chelsea FC (On Loan at Vitesse Arnhem)

This was a big week for Miazga. He received the high honor of being voted as #2 on the Center Back Depth Chart by our very own SSFC Community. He also played a quite a game on Friday. Miazga rose high to head home the opening goal six minutes in for his second of the season. He also had a very nice match defensively, helping Vitesse earn a clean sheet in the 2-0 victory over FC Groningen. Let’s hope Miazga can continue to play well on loan.

Belgium

Erik Palmer-Brown - Center Back, Manchester City (On Loan at KV Kortrijk)

Manchester City finally found a spot for Palmer-Brown this past week, sending him on loan to Belgium. The Sporting KC product will remain with Kortrijk through the end of the season. Let’s hope this loan provides him with some quality experience. Palmer-Brown was not in the squad for KV Kortrijk’s 2-0 victory on Saturday. Good Luck EPB!

Spain

Andre Costa - Central Midfielder, Real Madrid

Andre Costa is a 15-year-old midfielder who has joined Real Madrid from Leganes. Costa was born in Brazil, but both his parents are US citizens. He grew up in the Miami area and attended Weston FC before heading to Spain. Real’s famed academy is referred to as “La Fabrica” (the factory) because of its ability to pump out players like an assembly line. Obviously, I have no idea if Andre will make it there, but it’s a big deal any time an American is talented enough to have an opportunity to make it at arguably the biggest club in the world. Good luck!

Mexico

Rubio Rubin - Striker/Winger, Club Tijuana

Rubin’s contract at Stabaek ran out and he was in search of a club while taking part in the USMNT January Camp. Rubin was heavily rumored to be joining an MLS team, but instead he has signed with Tijuana in Liga MX. Rubin was once one of the most highly thought of American prospects before injuries really derailed his career. Let’s hope the 21-year-old can resurrect his career in Mexico.

United States

Ulysses Llanez - Winger LA Galaxy

Llanez is one of several LA Galaxy Academy players getting a shot with the LA Galaxy first team in preseason (17-year-old Alex Mendez and 15-year-old Efrain Alvarez as well). The 16-year-old is one of the most highly rated American prospects. His ability on the ball is special as is his strike from distance. Usually deployed on the left wing, he is adept at cutting in from the left and shooting with his preferred right. Sigi Schmid has had high praise for his youngsters, but I would still be surprised to see more than a handful of minutes in MLS for Llanez this season.

He’ll only turn 17 in April, and I would imagine he will see quite a bit of action in the USL with LA Galaxy 2. Llanez is one to keep an eye on not only for his talent, but because of his dual national status. He has represented both Mexico and the US at the youth levels and was narrowly left off the US U-17 WC team last year. His extremely highly rated 15-year-old teammate Efrain Alvarez is also Mexican-American, but he seems to have settled on Mexico (for those who haven’t seen or heard of Efrain Alvalrez, look him up-he is literally a 15-year-old who may see time in MLS this season). Let’s hope Llanez can continue to develop into the top level player that he has the potential to become.

As always, if there is anything major I overlooked , please hit the comments section and let me know. Thank you all so much for reading!