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USMNT Weekly Youth Update: Josh Sargent marks his debut in style

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The striker immediately made an impact

Soccer: International Friendly Men’s Soccer-Bolivia at USA Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

This was another interesting week for young Americans. The MLS season has officially come to an end, with Atlanta United and future El Tri coach (reportedly) Tata Martino being crowned champions. Various leagues around the world are closing in on winter breaks and many American players are being tasked with playing important roles on helping those teams go into the break on high notes. This is what happened this week:

Germany

Josh Sargent - Striker, Werder Bremen

The wait is finally over. Sargent was included in the matchday squad for the Bremen first team for the first time on Friday. The 18-year-old started on the bench. With Werder Bremen leading 2-1, Sargent subbed on for Milot Rashica in the 76th minute to make his Bundesliga debut. Just two minutes later, Sargent made it a dream debut by heading home a deflected shot for his first career Bundesliga goal.

Yes, it was a tap-in and the ball was going in anyway, but it was his first touch of the game and an awesome moment for the young man. Werder Bremen would go on to win by that same 3-1 scoreline. Sargent had a couple giveaways during the remaining minutes he had, but overall he moved well and looked dangerous. For Sargent, this is hopefully only the beginning of a successful career for club and country. Let’s hope he can stay in the first team and keep getting opportunities. Congratulations Josh!

Chris Richards - Centerback, FC Dallas (On Loan at Bayern Munich)

Richards is the other 18-year-old American making headlines in Germany. Richards had expressed interest in remaining at Bayern beyond the January end to his loan from FC Dallas. This week, it appears that Bayern Munich are on the same page. According to Goal, Bayern is finalizing a deal to buy him permanently. This says a lot about what they think of this young man. While Richards would still face an uphill battle to become a contributor at the first team level, Bayern must see that potential in this player for them to want him permanently. It seems like a perfect opportunity for Richards. Let’s hope he can take advantage of this opportunity!

Kevin Lankford - Winger, FC Heidenheim

Lankford has finally returned from his muscle injury. He was an unused substitute on Saturday. This was the first time he had been in the team since September 26th. The 20-year-old has stuggled with that injury that cut off a strong start to the season which included a goal in the DFB-Pokal. It’s good to see him back healthy again. Hopefully he can get back on the field and contributing again soon.

McKinze Gaines - Winger, SV Darmstadt

Gaines made the bench this weekend in Darmstadt’s 1-1 draw with Ingolstadt. However, the 20-year-old once again did not make an appearance as he continues to struggle to find any playing time. Gaines has been on the bench five times this year but has yet to feature and he’s been out of the squad entirely in the rest of Darmstadt’s games this season. After his fine season with Wolfsburg’s U-19’s in 2016/2017, Gaines was expected to see a lot of opportunities in the German second division when he moved to Darmstadt. That hasn’t proven to be the case.

France

Jordan Siebatcheu - Striker, Stade Rennais

It hasn’t been a great year so far for Siebatcheu. The 22-year-old has struggled with injuries and also struggled to produce when he has played. However, he did score his first league goal in their midweek matchup against Olympique Lyonnaise. In just his fifth start of the season in all competitions, Siebatcheu struck in the 43rd minute to put Rennais up 2-0 over Lyon.

Siebatcheu was subbed off in the 65th minute. In the game this weekend, he subbed on in second half stoppage time in another win. Rennais is now tied for 9th place in Ligue 1 (just seven points separate the 2nd place and 9th place teams). Also, they have a big match on Thursday this week against Astana. If they win, they would finish in second place in the group and qualify for the Europa League knockout round. If they lose or draw, they are out of the competition. Let’s see if Siebatcheu can help them get through.

Italy

Anthony McCutchen - Striker, AS Cittadella

McCutcheon is an 18-year-old American playing for Cittadella’s U-19s After moving on from Perugia last summer, McCutcheon has been a regular for Cittadella, featuring in 8 out of their 10 league games and scoring a goal. Cittadella’s first team is in 4th place in Serie B (the second division in Italy), just 5 points behind league-leading Palermo. Hopefully McCutcheon can progress through the ranks. Italy has arguably the third best league in the world. It would be nice to have some (ANY) players in that league.

Netherlands

Richard Ledezma - Central Midfielder, PSV Eindhoven

A poorly kept secret is the news about Ledezma heading to Holland. He impressed while trialing at PSV last summer and is set to join the Dutch club. This week, reports surfaced that Ledezma is indeed expected to join them in January when he is first eligible to play. Ledezma turned 18 in September, but he was unable to play in any official games until January since his birthday was after the summer transfer window. The midfielder will reportedly start with Jong PSV who play in the second division in Holland before hopefully working his way up to the first team. Let’s hope the Real Salt Lake Academy product can have a successful run at PSV. Good luck Richie!

Spain

Rayshaun McGann - Central Midfielder, Getafe CF

McGann has moved on to Spain. The 18-year-old has left Atlanta United and joined Spanish side Getafe CF. Currently playing with the team’s U-19s, McGann is hoping to break through where so few Americans have been able. Let’s wish the young man the best of luck as he joins the growing contingent of young Americans playing in Europe.

Shaq Moore - Levante (On Loan at CF Reus)

Moore finally seems to be making a claim at the starting Right Back position for CF Reus. The 22-year-old has started each of the last two matches. On Sunday, Moore helped Reus keep a clean sheet and pick up all three points in a 1-0 victory over Alcorcón. With the victory, Reus currently sits in 19th out of 22 teams in the Spanish Segunda Division. I want to see him nail down this spot and continue to improve.

As always, hit the comment section to let me know if there’s anything major I overlooked or if there’s anyone you’d like to hear about. Thank you all for reading.