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USMNT Weekly Youth Update: Chris Durkin scores first goal in Belgium

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Durkin has found his footing in Europe.

SOCCER JPL D18 STVV VS CLUB BRUGGE Photo by JOHAN EYCKENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

This week, Gio Reyna made huge headlines after scoring an absolute golazo for his first career professional goal. On top of that, it was a pretty active week all around with some interesting transfer rumors coming in. 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:

Belgium

Chris Durkin - Central Midfielder, DC United (On Loan at Sint Truidense VV)

Chris Durkin has started to break out in Belgium. The 20-year-old has become a starter on his season-long loan at Sint-Truidense following a rough start to the season. On Saturday, Durkin came off the bench in the 70th minute with Sint-Truidense leading KAS Eupen 4-2. Late in stoppage time, Durkin arrived in the box and slotted it home to score his first goal of the season.

The 5-2 win has them in 10th place in the 16-team Belgian Pro League. It’s fantastic to see him come on strong after struggling a bit early on. Hopefully, he can keep improving and perhaps Sint-Truidense will decide to act on the option to purchase him permanently from D.C. United. Regardless, this loan has been a good experience for him. Rating: 5

Ethan Bryant - Attacking Midfielder, KSV Roeselare

Bryant is starting to make his way in Belgium. The 18-year-old made the move from San Antonio FC last summer and had been with the reserves all season until this week. Bryant was named to the matchday squad for their first team for the first time on Friday against Beerschot VA. Bryant didn’t make his debut in the 1-1 draw, but that seems to be only a matter of time. Bryant stood out for his ability on the ball as a young player at the USL level before the move. Hopefully he can push his way into the rotation on a regular basis. KSV Roeselare currently sits near the bottom of Belgium’s Proximus League (the second division in Belgium). Rating: 1

Germany

Lennard Maloney - Centerback, Union Berlin (On Loan at Chemnitzer FC)

Last week, Maloney was loaned out from Union Berlin to 3rd Bundesliga club Chemnitzer FC last week. The 20-year-old German-American has struggled mightily to break into the team at Union Berlin after seeming to be on the doorstep a couple seasons ago. In the spring of 2018, Maloney was making the matchday squad pretty regularly and even got his full debut with the club at 18 years old. But the last two seasons, he has struggled to maintain that status and he and the club are hoping that this loan will help to rejuvenate his career. We’ll see if he can take advantage of the opportunity. Rating: 2

England

Adrian Galliani - Attacking Midfielder, Nottingham Forest

Galliani has joined Nottingham Forest on a free transfer. The 18-year-old Italian-American was most recently with Watford FC and was previously a member of the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. He also had a spell with the U-17’s at AC Milan. Galliani’s contract runs through the end of next season and he will play for Nottingham’s U-23s. Forest’s senior team is currently in fourth place in the jam-packed top of the English Championship. If the season ended today, they would be in the promotion playoff to get to the Premier League. We’ll see if Galliani can find some consistency with his club situation and his play following this move. Rating: 1

United States

Caden Clark - Central Midfielder, New York Red Bulls

Caden Clark has signed a deal with New York Red Bulls II, the USL affiliate of the larger MLS club. Previously with Barca Academy, the 17-year-old had interest from several teams in Europe, but he could not go until he turns 18 anyways. So it makes sense to get some professional experience under his belt and next year he can decide between a potential homegrown contract with New York or a move abroad. New York Red Bulls II coach John Wolyniec had this to say:

Hopefully Caden Clark can follow in the footsteps of some of the players developed by the club. Rating: 1

George Bello - Left Back, Atlanta United

George Bello suffered a major scare this weekend. The 18-year-old collided heads while defending a set piece against Birmingham Legion in Atlanta’s 3-2 win on Saturday. Bello was carted off the field and taken to the hospital. Luckily, he seems to have avoided a major injury as he took to Twitter on Monday morning to clear the air:

The last two seasons have been harsh to the young man from an injury point of view. He’s suffered groin injuries that have caused him to miss a significant amount of time in each of the last two seasons. Hopefully he can get back healthy and stay healthy going forward. For now, we’re happy to see it wasn’t as serious as originally feared. Rating: 4

Andrew Carleton - Attacking Midfielder, Atlanta United (On Loan at Indy Eleven)

Carleton has been loaned out to USL club Indy Eleven for the 2020 season. The 19-year-old has had well-publicized struggles in Atlanta not only with his play on the field but also with questions of professionalism and of his mentality off the field. And those struggles have been brought up by multiple coaches. Perhaps this loan will give him a change of scenery and will be the wake-up call he needs to help him recover from a rough couple of seasons. Hopefully he can do so. Rating: 2

Quick Notes:

Antonee Robinson was in the news again this week following the deadline day deal from Wigan Athletic to AC Milan falling through. He is reportedly being monitored by several Premier League clubs like Chelsea, Newcastle, and Aston Villa ahead of this summer’s transfer window. Even if Wigan is unable to avoid relegation, I doubt he goes to League One with them.

Another transfer rumor this week involved Sergiño Dest. He was present for Bayern Munich’s midweek cup match as they reportedly are looking to buy him from Ajax this summer. The 19-year-old would serve as an answer to allow Joshua Kimmich to feature in midfield full time.

Gio Reyna came on and played the entire second half on Saturday against Bayer Leverkusen. It was his longest appearance so far and while it wasn’t a great performance, he figures to see added action in the coming weeks with injuries to Marco Reus and Julian Brandt and a busy schedule.

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 for reading.