Follow the signing of Pulisic and, more recently, Mckennie, the European elite is looking more and more into the young American talents as an opportunity to expand their market oversea and at the same time, trying to discover a real gem before their market value gets too high. Here I wrote a list of 10 exciting prospects all Made In USA (well, most of them have double citizenship but they all play for the USA national team).
Sergino Dest 19 USA/NED – Right-Back – Ajax – £16.2m
Sergino is one of the best American young prospects at the moment, and that explains why he is also the 3rd most expensive USA player after Pulisic and McKennie. He has everything to become one of the best right-backs in the world. As every modern-day full-back, not only he is a real threat in attack (5 assists in 20 games last season) but he is also very strong defensively thanks to the education of the Ajax academy. Follow by Arsenal and Tottenham, Dest is strongly linked to Bayern Munich and Barcelona and I wouldn’t be surprised if he joins one of them by the end of this transfer window.
Plays a bit like: Hakimi
Tyler Adams 21 USA – Def Mid – RB Leipzig – £14.4m
Since he left the New York Red Bulls two years ago, he collected already 27 appearances between Bundesliga and Champions League scoring also one goal (against Atletico Madrid, giving RB Leipzig their first CL semifinal ever). His style is not spectacular but definitely effective. Tyler is very fast and energetic, able to cover a lot of ground in the midfield and recover a lot of balls, that he quickly converts vertically. There are questions about his best position (box-to-box mid? defensive mid?) but not about his skills and versatility. Only “negative” note, he could use a little bit more of muscle.
Plays a bit like: Thiago
Giovanni Reyna 17 USA/POR – Att Mid – Borussia Dortmund – £13.5m
His name may sound familiar since his father made over 100 appearances for the USA team, playing in 4 consecutive World Cup. But Giovanni is something else, he seems destined for something bigger. He was 16 when he signed with the Bundesliga side, coming out from the NYCFC academy, and since then he kept improving. Last season he played in 17 matches between CL and Bundesliga providing 2 assists. In this campaign, he played 2 games with 2 goals and 1 assist. Quick, happy feet, unpredictable, he can play in the middle as well as a winger, Gio will grow more and more playing side by side with other young talents like Sancho, Haaland and Brandt. Consider one of the top American prospects, many think he is more talented than Pulisic. Time will tell.
Plays a bit like: Kaka
Timothy Weah 20 USA/FR – Striker – Lille – £6.5m
“…from what I have seen of his talent he has everything to go and be one of the top attacking players in Europe.” These were Neymar‘s words in an interview late January 2019. Since then, Weah has slowed down a little bit due to a couple of bad injuries. Neymar at the time was Tim teammate at PSG, where he played in the youth team and collected also 6 games with the main team. Then he was loaned at Celtic (12 games, 3 goals, 1 assist) and finally sold to Lille last season, where he barely played due to muscle and hamstring injuries. Now he is back and will finally have the opportunity to show his class and amazing pace. He has everything that a modern striker needs to succeed. Also, he is the son of football legend George Weah!
Plays a bit like: Neymar
Josh Sargent 20 USA – Striker – Werder Bremen – £6.3m
The striker position is always been critical for the USA National Team and Josh will help in the future/present. He is not your classic number 9, he’s extremely smart, can open spaces in the attacking area, makes great runs and can hold-up and distribute the ball very well, especially for his young age. I would call him a “seconda punta’, not a big dribbler, he can score some goal but his main contribution is on the build-up of the action, in the air or on the ground. In the last two seasons, he played a total of 58 times scoring 14 goals and providing 8 assists. Playing in the Bundesliga will hopefully help him become a better athlete, with a better pace and structure.
Plays a bit like: Palacio
Ulysses Llanez 19 USA/MEX – Right Winger – SC Heerenveen – £0.2m
Uly is the first player in our list with no real experience in one of the main European League. After a couple of seasons at LA Galaxy II (12 games, 3goals, 1 assist) he signed in 2019 for Wolfsburg U19 where he played 16 games scoring 11 times and providing 6 assists. He is an absolute joy to watch on the wing, left or right doesn’t matter. Speed, dribbling, creativity, position and sense of goal. Recently he played his first game with the US national team scoring his first goal. This season will be crucial to see if he can make it in the football that counts.
Plays a bit like: Lucas Moura
Konrad De La Fuente 19 USA/SPA – Left Winger – Barcelona B – £2.25m
Another winger, another super quick, dribbling oriented young player, able to play on the left or right side of the pitch with no problem. Lethal in the one-on-one situation, Konrad is learning at La Masia, one of the best football academies in the World. In 21 games he can count 7 goals and 3 assists. He still needs time and experience to grow, maybe on loan (Germany?) but he has all the potential to make it.
Plays a tiny bit like: Messi
Emmanuel Sabbi 22 USA/GHA – Right Winger – Odense Boldklub – £0.9m
Born in Vicenza (Italy), raised in Chicago but athletically speaking product of the Danish League. 94 total games since 2017, 22 goals and 10 assists. He interprets the role in a more “classic” way, physically stronger than the previous two wingers, he prefers to use his speed and body structure more than his dribbling abilities. He still has time to improve and face a more competitive league where he could show his real potential
Plays a bit like: Moses
Richard Ledezma 20 USA/MEX – Att Mid – PSV U21 – £0.6m
33 appearances with 7 goals and 4 assist in the Netherlands second division and ready to get into the PSV first-team rotation. He reminds me of a young Coutinho, “trequartista” who loves the ball and is technically gifted. But as that young Cou, he needs experience and to learn when to shot and when to pass. nonetheless, you need to keep an eye on this talent!
Plays a bit like: Coutinho
Kobe Hernandez-Foster 18 USA – Left-Back – Wolfsburg U19 – ?
After Brooks, Llanez, Edwards and Kayo, Kobe joins the USA clan at the Bundesliga club (on a free transfer) to play in their U19 team. Captain of the USA U17 team (and of his former club LA Galaxy U17) Kobe is the perfect modern-fullback, even though he started his career as a striker. Now he leads his team from the left back side of the pitch, where he alternates quick runs with a pinpoint long passes, no matter the distance. Just last year he completed 90.2 % of his passes, even if the majority (45.1%) were forward rather than more simple backwards or sideways passes. The only “problem” could be his relatively modest frame, but he still has time to grow and so far he compensates with his speed, tenacity, leadership and great technique.
Plays a bit like: Marcelo