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Keeping up with young Americans in Europe Jan. 19

Keeping up with young Americans in Europe Jan. 19, 2021

January 19, 2021 By Juan Aguerrevere
The year 2021 keeps rolling and so do Americans in Europe when it comes to playing the beautiful game. Catch up on some of the USA’s top talents in European top leagues as they make a name for themselves and strive to represent their nation in the upcoming 2022 World Cup.

Brenden Aaronson, Matthew Hoppe and Cameron Harper cracked into the top-3 best young American performers of the week. That and news about Jordan Morris’ possible loan move to Swansea as well as other news about Americans around the continent. 

Brenden Aaronson – RB Salzburg 

Kicking off the top-3 list is none other than attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson. The New Jersey native had his first taste of European soccer on Saturday and he maximized his opportunity by scoring on his debut. His goal was Salzburg’s only goal of the game, as the friendly ended 3-1 in favor of WSG Swarovski Tirol, another Austrian club. 

Aaronson will be available to play against Austrian Bundesliga bottom-dweller Altach on Sunday. American head coach Jesse Marsch will see it as another good opportunity for the 20-year-old to build more chemistry with his new teammates and continue to acclimate in Europe.

Matthew Hoppe – FC Schalke 04

In last week’s edition of “Keeping up with young Americans in Europe,” we were introduced to Matthew Hoppe, a 19-year-old who became the first American to score a Bundesliga hattrick while in the process of liberating Schalke from its longest winless streak in club history. Hoppe’s good form carried on to this past weekend, scoring another goal on Sunday against Eintracht Frankfurt. Unfortunately for Hoppe and Schalke, Luka Jovic’s return to Deutsche Bank Park quickly turned into a fairytale after the Serbian was subbed on with 30 minutes left to play and bagged himself a brace to help Frankfurt to a 3-1 win.

Nonetheless, the Californian had one goal in his mind, and that was to keep his good form rolling. Therefore, Sunday’s game might have been a defeat, but a small win for Hoppe in his search for his first USMNT call-up. 

Cameron Harper – Celtic 

There is a new kid on the block, and his name is Cameron Harper from Sacramento, California. The 19-year-old natural winger made his first senior appearance for Celtic on Monday, Jan. 11, in a Scottish Premiership game against tough side Hibernian. A series of first-team positive COVID-19 results allowed Harper to play 61 minutes of topflight Scottish soccer as a center forward. The game ended in a 1-all draw.

By the looks of it, the USMNT Under-20 winger is in the process of returning to the U.S. to play in Major League Soccer. The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio and Sam Stejskal reported about the potential signing of a pre-contract with the New York Red Bulls. If everything goes as planned, the teenager will arrive in New Jersey in the Summer.

Seattle Sounders’ Jordan Morris to Swansea?

Disclaimer: I know that Jordan Morris is 26 years old and some might not consider that to be young. But hear me out…

Seattle Sounders’ long-time striker Jordan Morris is likely to complete a move to Europe after five seasons in MLS. His destination; Championship side Swansea City.

Swansea finds itself in second place after 24 matches and only four points behind league-leaders Norwich City. The Welch side is looking to bolster its squad with the aim to return to the English Premier League since the 2017-18 season. Most of Swansea’s goals have come through veteran striker Andre Ayew (8) and 26-year-old winger Jamal Lowe (9). No other forward in the team has scored more than a goal, making the Swans susceptible if Ayew or Lowe picks up an injury.

Morris is a proven goalscorer in MLS who also has a good sense of teamwork. The American registered 24 goals and 17 assists over the 2019 and 2020 seasons. A loan to Swansea can be a pivotal move in his career and ultimately offer head coach Steve Cooper another striker who can help him reach the promised land.

Other news regarding Americans in Europe 

Center-back Mark McKenzie featured in Genk’s bench over the weekend but did not play. It is a matter of time until he starts given their 2-0 loss to bottom side Royal Excel Mouscron on Saturday. Also, center-back Carlos Cuesta received a straight red, meaning that someone must fill that void in Thursday’s league game against Gent. Expect McKenzie to register his first minutes of European soccer.

Fulham full-back Antonee Robinson was having a great performance against Chelsea last weekend until he was handed a red card for a careless tackle on Cesar Azpilicueta. The 23-year-old might join the USMNT January Camp like striker Sebastian Soto did when while serving his ban.

PSV Eindhoven’s Richy Ledezma underwent successful knee surgery following his ACL tear from last month. 

Gio Reyna missed out on Borussia Dortmund’s game against Mainz on Saturday due to a mild throat infection.

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