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USMNT Weekly Youth Update: Adams still sidelined

The 20-year-old is still struggling with his adductor injury.

RB Leipzig Training Camp Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

This week featured two extremely important happenings along with several smaller stories. For any new readers, the rating at the end of each update reflects how much I think each player should be called up to the senior national team at the next opportunity (1 - nowhere near ready; 10 - absolutely call him up and start him). Here’s what’s going on this week:


Tyler Adams - Central Midfielder, RB Leipzig

First off, I know I said I wasn’t going to focus as heavily about Adams, McKennie and Pulisic very much this season, but this seems too important not to discuss. Definitely the most disappointing news this summer has to be that Adams is still struggling with his adductor issue that caused him to miss a month and a half last season, the Gold Cup and has now caused him to miss all of preseason. Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann commented on his status this week:

Now his status for the season start appears to be in danger. The other bad thing about this is Nagelsmann has just taken over as their coach. Adams will need at least some time to learn his responsibilities in this system. There is only two weeks before they start their season in the DFB Pokal and three weeks before the Bundesliga season starts. And while the September friendlies aren’t important from a results standpoint, Adams has only had one game with Gregg Berhalter so far and it was with him playing as an inverted right back. Hopefully, they can find some resolution for this lingering problem and he can get back to health soon. Rating: 10

Gio Reyna - Attacking Midfielder, Borussia Dortmund

Reyna is turning heads as he continues to train and play with the Dortmund first team following the conclusion of their American tour. When Thorgan Hazard came off injured in the 12th minute in their friendly on Saturday against Udinese, the 16-year-old replaced him and played until halftime (it was an entirely different 11 to start the second half). Reyna acquitted himself well in his cameo. He probably should have drawn a penalty but the referee didn’t give it. Still, it’s impressive that he’s remained with the first team for the entirety of preseason. It remains to be seen when or if he’ll get first team opportunities this year, but he has impressed his coaches with his skill on the ball and ability to look like he belongs at such a young age. Rating: 5

Chris Richards - Centerback, Bayern Munich

Richards has resumed training with the Bayern first team. Nursing an injury for much of the preseason, Richards hadn’t been able to take part in their International Champions Cup matches as he did last summer. Now he’s healthy once again and eyeing a potential first team breakthrough. Richards had an impressive U-20 World Cup and hopefully can ride that momentum into some minutes with Bayern’s first team or a loan to earn some first team experience. Even if he stays with Bayern II, they will be playing this season in the 3rd Bundesliga after earning promotion from the Regionalliga last year so all options are not terrible for a 19-year-old centerback. Rating: 5

Justin Butler - Striker, FC Ingolstadt

Butler has left Bayern Munich and joined FC Ingolstadt on a two year contract. The 18-year-old struggled to get on the field consistently last season for Bayern’s U-19s, so they decided not to renew his expiring contract. Now he will attempt to reinvigorate his young career with the 3rd Bundesliga side. Rating: 1


Kyle Scott - Central Midfielder, Newcastle United

Kyle Scott is on the move from Chelsea. The 21-year-old had been with Chelsea for many years, and most recently had a loan to Telstar of the Eerste Divisie (Holland’s second division) that was terminated in January. Allowed to leave on a free transfer, Scott will now try to break in to the first team alongside the likes of DeAndre Yedlin. Let’s wish him the best of luck. Rating: 3


Gennaro Nigro - Central Midfielder, AS Roma

Nigro announced that he extended his contract with AS Roma this week. The 19-year-old played very sparingly for Roma’s U-19s last season, so he has a long way to go to get himself into the first team conversation there. We’ll see if he can push himself enough to reach that level. Rating: 1


Sergiño Dest - Fullback, AFC Ajax

Dest had easily the most exciting moment of the week among American youth. The 18-year-old got his full debut on Saturday against rival PSV Eindhoven in the Johan Cruyff Shield (the Dutch Supercup). Deployed at left back yet again, Dest asserted himself well. He was dangerous going forward for most of the match, causing havoc with his overlapping runs. He also did well with his passing and came so close to opening his account in the 75th minute when he struck the outside of the post. Defensively, he held his own for the most part with a few mistakes here and there. He also had a couple sloppy giveaways, including one that led to him yanking down the PSV attacker and drawing a yellow card. Still, it was an impressive debut and hopefully a sign of what’s to come. Dest is certainly taking advantage of his opportunity with several Ajax regulars away from the club at the moment, but we’ll see if he can maintain his role when they return. The Eredivisie season starts next week and Ajax has Champions League group stage qualifying during the following week so there will be ample opportunities for rotation. Hopefully he can stamp his spot down. Below is a highlight video of his debut. Rating: 9


Christian Cappis - Central Midfielder, Hobro IK

Christian Cappis is slowly but surely working his way into being a regular for the first team. Cappis earned his first start of the season on Sunday against Randers FC. The 19-year-old went the distance in Hobro’s 2-2 draw (fellow American Emmanuel Sabbi also started and scored the opener). Hobro has started the season with three consecutive draws. Hopefully Cappis and Sabbi can help them get into the win column soon. Rating: 3

Jens Cajuste - Central Midfielder, FC Midtjylland

Cajuste is slowly integrating into Midtjylland’s first team. The Swedish-American earned his first career Danish Superliga start (he did start in a 4-1 defeat in the Championship playoffs in May) on Sunday in their 1-0 win against Aarhus Gymnastikforening. The 19-year-old went the distance and picked up a yellow card, but he continues to make progress towards being a regular for one of the best teams in that league. Cajuste played most of last year with their reserves with only a few appearances with the first team. Midtjylland will face qualification to get into the Europa League group stage in early August. Perhaps we’ll get to see the young man take his first steps in European competition this year. Rating: 4

United States

Daniel Leyva - Central Midfielder, Seattle Sounders

Leyva is slowly pushing into the first team in Seattle. The 16-year-old started again on Saturday in Seattle’s 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. Leyva was once again impressive with his composure and passing ability. I know Seattle probably wants to bring him along slowly and that’s fine, but it’s getting more and more difficult to keep him off the field. Hopefully he continues this rise with his club and can be the driving force that he’s shown at the U-17 World Cup this fall (assuming Seattle releases him). Rating: 4

Paxton Pomykal - Attacking Midfielder, FC Dallas

Pomykal returned from injury on Saturday when he came off the bench in the 58th minute of their 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake. The 19-year-old hadn’t missed a step and should have had an assist with this absurd through ball in the 68th minute.

On top of his offensive contributions, he continues to be everywhere defensively for FC Dallas, breaking up plays constantly and always willing to go hard into tackles. His stock is sky high. Rating: 9

Jeremy Ebobisse - Winger/Striker, Portland Timbers FC

Ebobisse has produced a very good season this year. On Saturday, the 22-year-old scored his seventh league goal when he rose high to head home the final goal in their 4-0 demolition of the LA Galaxy.

Altogether Ebobisse has 8 goals and 2 assists in 24 appearances in all competitions (1,661 minutes). He’s been very consistent throughout the year as well. Hopefully he keeps this up. Rating: 6

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