Lennard Maloney, not exactly a name on everyone’s lips, but should be a prospect to keep an eye on. Maloney is a 19-year-old German-American center-back that just broke into the first team at 1. FC Union Berlin in the 2. Bundesliga after captaining Union Berlin’s U-19 squad. If Union Berlin sounds familiar, it’s because Bobby Wood played there before landing at Hamburger SV. Like the story of many German-Americans, he was born to a American father and German mother.
His dad is former Air Force veteran who met his now wife on a commercial flight. She was a flight attendant, and they hit it off, eventually relocating to Germany, where Lennard was born.
Lennard’s dad is now out of the service and still lives in Germany with his wife. Maloney was brought up in a bilingual household, his father speaking English to him and his mother speaking exclusively in German, and he has no problem speaking either language. He’s only been on American soil twice in his life:
“The last time I was in the United States was four years ago now,” Maloney told ASN from Berlin. I would like to go over to the United States more often but there is not really any time because of school and football. Vacation isn’t long and for just one week, it doesn’t really make sense to come over right now.”
- Lennard Maloney, Source: American Soccer Now
Make no mistake, he’s turning into a top footballer. He’s a centerback who can also play right back and in the midfield. His team is currently in 6th place and points are tight, so it’s tough for the youngster to break into the starting XI, especially since he joined the senior team after the winter break in January.
With his rise, it calls into question his international status, being a dual national and all. Currently he’s in the German set up, having played for the U-19’s, U-18’s and was called up for a friendly against Denmark on the 25th of this month. He said he was completely floored when he got his first call up for Germany. He also points out that being a dual national he wouldn’t be opposed to getting called into a USMNT camp:
“Of course, if the United States ever called, I would be over the ocean in 10 minutes,” Maloney continued. “Playing for the United States is one of my biggest dreams. If Germany is possible, I will play for Germany. But somewhere in my heart, I want to play for the United States. I don’t know what it is. It’s just there.”
- Lennard Maloney Source: American Soccer Now
Still, he has yet to hear from anyone at U.S. Soccer. Seeing that he’s only played in friendlies, he wouldn’t have to file a one-time switch if he was ever called into camp. Even if he’s only been to the States a couple times, he does feel a connection to his father’s heritage and two of his favorite players are American: Bobby Wood and John Brooks. He has a U.S. jersey signed by the two hanging above his bed.