We have returned from the September international window, and it was a very busy one for many young Americans while the regulars were away on international duty. Here’s what happened since the last update:
Jonathan Amon - Winger, FC Nordsjaelland
Amon got the start coming out of the break on Saturday against Randers. Just 23 minutes in, Amon made a nicely timed run and found the back of the net to open the scoring for his second league goal of the season.
In the 52nd minute, Amon added an assist by helping to spring a counter attack. His day would be done after 84 minutes, but not before he put his stamp on their 3-0 lead (they ended up winning 4-1). The 19-year-old winger continues to impress when he gets on the field. He now has three goals and an assist in just six appearances in all competitions this season (288 minutes). With the lack of attacking quality on display for the US in recent friendlies, it should only be a matter of time before he gets a USMNT callup.
Ian Hoffman - Attacking Midfielder/Fullback, Karlsruher SC
Hoffman is making waves with his club. Over the international window, he made his first appearance for the Karlsruher first team (Karlsruher plays in the 3. Liga in Germany) in a club friendly against SV Sasbach. In the 63rd minute, Hoffmann made his debut and he found the back of the net shortly thereafter in the dominant 10-0 victory. Hoffman then came off the bench against the Mexican U-21 team a few days later. The 17-year-old has been a regular within the USYNT system and is the star of Karlsruher’s U-19 team. It’s only a matter of time before he’s playing consistently with their first team.
Sebastian Soto - Striker, Hannover 96
After signing this summer, Soto has started off the U-19 season on fire for Hannover. The 18-year-old scored a brace on Saturday in Hannover’s 2-1 win, giving him four goals in five U-19 league matches. Soto left Real Salt Lake’s academy for Germany this summer after lighting it up at the DA level in the US. Soto is still only in the beginning in his journey in Europe, but he’s off to a great start.
Charlie Kelman - Striker, Southend United
Kelman is a very talented striker who’s dominating at the U-18 level. Kelman already has four goals and two assists through six games. Southend United’s first team is currently near the bottom in League One, so we’ll have to wait to see him at a high level unless he makes a move to a bigger club. For now, he is impressing in a big way.
Maki Tall - Winger/Striker, AC Ajaccio
Maki Tall is on the move from Tours FC. After starting the season with the club that was relegated from Ligue 2 last season, Tall will move back to Ligue 2 with AC Ajaccio. The 22-year-old has had a tough time getting on the field consistently for Tours. Let’s wish him the best of luck with this move.
Nicholas Gioacchini - Striker, SM Caen
Speaking of strikers who have started the season out brilliantly, Gioacchini is impressing at SM Caen. The 18-year-old Kansas City native moved to the Ligue 1 side this summer after dominating at the youth level for Paris FC of the French second division. Gioacchini’s strong play has already earned him an opportunity to play with the team’s reserve side despite him being thought to looked at as a U-19 player. He then scored off a corner in his reserve team debut. SM Caen’s first team could use some scoring punch so don’t be shocked to see him breaking in at some point this year. This young man is a very exciting prospect.
Gennaro Nigro - Central Midfielder, AS Roma
Nigro had a moment to remember over the international window. Nigro subbed on in the 81st minute for Javier Pastore in a club friendly against Benevento, an Italian second division club. The 18-year-old Italian-American moved to AS Roma this summer to join the U-19 team, but it looks like he is impressing to already be getting a crack with the first team. Let’s hope he can continue to impress.
Erik Palmer-Brown - Centerback, NAC Breda
It was reported by the club that Erik Palmer-Brown would be getting called up by the USMNT for the September friendlies. In the end it didn’t happen, but it was for the best. Palmer-Brown earned his first start and first Eredivisie appearance on Sunday against Andrija Novakovich and Fortuna Sittard. EPB had a bit of a struggle defensively in his first start as Fortuna Sittard would have the last laugh. For Palmer-Brown, hopefully he continues to get looks and play regularly.
Keaton Parks - Central Midfielder, SL Benfica
Parks continues to have a rough couple months. The 21-year-old has yet to feature in any matchday squads for Benfica’s first team this season and was left out of their Champions League squad for this fall’s Group Stage. Even this past weekend in the Portuguese League Cup ahead of a Champions League match midweek, Parks was left out of the squad. He has been featuring for the B team regularly and recorded a gorgeous assist before the break, but it feels like he has lost most of the momentum he had built last season. I hope to see him pick himself up and fight through this adversity.
Joshua Perez - Winger, Los Angeles Football Club (On Loan at Phoenix Rising)
Perez is going out on loan to the USL. Perez moved to MLS following his exit from ACF Fiorentina in Italy, but he has yet to have any playing opportunities since the move. Over the break, LAFC loaned him out to Phoenix to get him some playing time and hopefully get his confidence back. Perez made his USL debut by playing the final half hour of a 1-0 victory two days after the move was official. Perez was back with his parent club, LAFC, as an unused substitute on Saturday.
Jeremy Ebobisse - Striker, Portland Timbers
Ebobisse has spent the vast majority of the season in the USL with Timbers II. However, he was called up to the first team last week. Ebobisse made his chance count by scoring in just his second league appearance of the season. Just before halftime, Ebobisse scored a sliding goal after some nice work from his teammates.
Here is Jeremy’s goal against the @ColoradoRapids! Ebobisse hasn’t been given much of a chance by the @TimbersFC this year but has started 2 @MLS games in the past year and has 2 goals & an assist, also scored in the @opencup earlier in the year! pic.twitter.com/eGxwW8ujz5— DMV Soccer (@DMVSoccer96) September 10, 2018
His efforts landed him in the MLS Team of the Week. Ebobisse then started again this past Saturday in their 4-1 loss against Houston. Let’s hope he can continue to get looks in the coming weeks.
Dantouma Toure - Striker, New York Red Bulls
Toure had a stroke of terrible luck this week. He has been diagnosed with a torn ACL. The hugely talented 14-year-old had moved to New York Red Bull’s Academy this summer from the Player Development Academy and had already trained some with the first team. It’s a tough blow, but hopefully he will make a full recovery and return to terrorizing defenders.
James Sands - Central Midfielder/Centerback, New York City FC
Sands earned his first two career MLS starts over the international window. The 18-year-old who featured for the US at the 2017 U-17 World Cup had been on loan in the USL at Louisville City where he was excelling. His play earned him an opportunity and he took it well. NYCFC Coach Domenec Torrent praised his poise and ability after his first MLS start and rewarded him with another start a few days later against DC United. It’s great to see Sands getting an opportunity to play. This is a young man with very good defensive instincts and smooth ability on the ball. Let’s hope he continues to get chances.
Look out for some Champions League action this week with guys like Pulisic and McKennie potentially getting time. As always, head to the comment section to let me know if there’s anything major I overlooked or if there is anyone you’d like to hear about. Thank you for reading!