VfL Wolfsburg officially announced the signings of Bryang Kayo and Kobe Hernandez-Foster to professional contracts earlier today. They will join the club’s U-23 and U-19 squads, respectively.
The Wolfsburg U-23 side finished this past season in second place in the fourth-level Regionalliga Nord, narrowly missing out on promotion to the 3. Liga. The U-19 squad competes in the Northern Division of the A-Junioren Bundesliga.
Kayo spent his youth career with the D.C. United Academy and was on the roster of USL clubs Loudoun United and Orange County SC. The 17-year-old was a member of the United States U-17 national team, trained with the U.S. U-23s, and received a call-up to the USMNT for 2020 January Camp. He turns 18 on July 27th. J.R. Eskilson of Top Drawer Soccer describes Kayo as a box-to-box midfielder who “has something in his game now, or shows promise of having in the near future, that [Gregg] Berhalter believes will help the national team.”
Hernandez-Foster was a member of the LA Galaxy Academy and made his debut with LA Galaxy II in 2018. The fullback has been a regular inclusion at the youth international level and played with the U.S. U-17s at the 2019 U-17 World Cup. According to U.S. Soccer, he is “one of the USA’s most-experienced players” at the youth level.
Wolfsburg already features Americans John Brooks and Ulysses Llanez, the latter a member of the club’s U-19 squad but trained with the first team throughout the Bundesliga restart. Die Wölfe finished the 2019-2020 season in seventh place in the Bundesliga, with 49 points from 34 matches. The club earned a spot in the second qualifying round for the upcoming 2020-2021 Europa League, while they are also competing in the current edition of the competition, which set to resume in August.
With these recent signings, Wolfsburg is rapidly becoming a must-watch for fans of the USMNT. The Bundesliga continues to be the league of choice for American players, particularly young professionals looking to grow and develop. Due to the culture fit and friendly player acquisition rules, the pipeline shows no sign of slowing down.