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USMNT U-20 Cameron Harper Makes Debut for Celtic FC

The 19-year-old winger was dropped into the starting XI as COVID protocols sideline 13 first team players.

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Celtic v Hibernian - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Pouring rain didn’t spoil the American’s debut for Celtic
Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images

American U-20 Cameron Harper made his debut for Celtic FC, getting the start against Hibernian FC in Glasgow’s pouring rain. Projected as a wing, the 19-year-old appeared to be playing up top with instructions to get wide for service.

The top highlight came in the first half as Harper bore down on goal from the left side with the ball. He planted a shot into the side net, but gets points for going for the debut goal.

Praise is deserved for creating space in the final third on both wings, but his crosses and service were lacking. Several attempts to get the ball to an attacker in the box were well off the mark.

Generally, Harper looks like he needs more first team exposure to settle in or could benefit from taking the pitch with the first team regulars. So, he’s less a key component and more of a role player finding his footing.

Harper received today’s nod as Celtic had 13 players and their head coach ruled out due to COVID protocols. The team looked pretty lost on both sides of the ball as the starting XI was more home remedy than name brand.

In the 60th minute, Harper went down with what appeared to be a left calf cramp. He briefly attempted to return to the pitch but was subbed out right away.

Harper has been called into USMNT U-20 camps and practiced with the USMNT first team during last year’s January Camp.

His presence at Celtic is the result of being a Californian with Scottish parents. You can read more about his background and goals from The Athletic.

If the injury was indeed a cramp and COVID protocols keep much of Celtic’s first team sidelined, then there’s a chance we’ll see Harper again soon. They play next on Saturday.