Barca Academy Star Forward Signed With German Powerhouse Club
Smart, determined, focused are just three words that describe the highly talented and totally committed 18-year-old
Matthew Hoppe has just inked a deal with famed German club Schalke 04
Schalke 04 is one of the top professional soccer clubs in the world. Founded in 1904, Schalke competes in the German Bundesliga. The club has developed a reputation for developing top American talent and takes pride in how American 19-year-old midfielder Weston McKennie is reaching new heights, going from playing with the U19s to taking on Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga. And this is a path Hoppe would like to travel.
I started playing soccer at the age of four and fell in love with it instantlyMatthew Hoppe
Barça Academy striker Hoppe leads the DA U-18/19 age group in goals scored and goals scored per games this season. Ranking #1 on the ultra-competitive U.S. Soccer Development Academy standings for Goals Scored Leaders, Hoppe scored 29 goals this 2018/19 season.
Hoppe also tops the leader board for Goals Per Game Played Leaders with a 1.45 goals per game average.
Claiming the top spot for the U-18/19 Southwest Division, Barca Academy is very proud of their striker.
Hoppe’s success with Barça Residency Academy has translated to other opportunities including trials in Germany as well as a trip to trial and train at La Masia – FC Barcelona’s famed youth academy.
Barca Academy Director of Coaching Sean McCafferty as overjoyed with Hoppe’s opportunity to join Schalke and said, “Matt has worked hard to become the player he is today. He became a #9 at Barca Academy and has embraced all the training need to excel and become the highest-scoring player in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy for his U19 age bracket. An amazing accomplishment, Hoppe scored 29 goals in this past DA season for his Barca team.”
Hoppe leads the DA Southwest Division by
“We are very proud of Hoppe and wish him the very best at Schalke,” said McCafferty
At 6’2″ 175 lbs, this Barça Academy graduate was a four-star recruit. A player to watch, Hoppe is clearly one of the top youth strikers in America.
The Southern California youth was originally committed to San Diego State University (SDSU) Men’s Soccer program and de-committed to take advantage of training in Germany.
Hoppe made the United Soccer Coaches Youth All-American team and was one of three forwards named to the USSDA Best XI last year.
SoccerToday Interview with Matthew Hoppe
Diane Scavuzzo: Congratulations on signig with Schalke 04. Why this club? What does this opportunity mean to you?
Matthew Hoppe: Schalke is a world-class club with an incredible staff, amazing supporters and a great facility.
Their coaching staff and directors are some of the best in the world and they have produced many successful players including Mesut Ozil and Leroy Sane.
Everything just fell into place and my manager Emmanuel Bondzie of Bond MG, Management did an amazing job of introducing me to Schalke and getting this deal completed. I am thankful for all of his hard work and belief in me.
Diane Scavuzzo: What does this opportunity mean to you?
Matthew Hoppe: This opens the door for me to compete and play with the leading players under the guidance of one of the world’s best coaching staff.
Everyday will be a challenge and an opportunity to learn.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why opt to train in Germany over the USA?
Matthew Hoppe: I’ve always dreamed of training and playing soccer in Europe. I want to compete over there. I got my first taste of it several years ago when I went over there with Don Hebert and the Strikers SC.
Then, after training and performing well at Barcelona’s La Masia in Spain earlier in the year, I knew I could play in Europe.
All I have to do is be the hardest worker and embrace the Schalke philosophy.
Diane Scavuzzo: You were committed to San Diego State University (SDSU) but chose to sign a professional contract instead of attending college next year?
Matthew Hoppe: I love Head coach Lev
Diane Scavuzzo: When did you first start playing?
Matthew Hoppe: I was four years old when I first started playing soccer.
My first coach ever was my dad. He coached me for much of my youth and played a major role in my development.
I have had many great club coaches, including Jimmy Nordberg, Marius Rus, and of course Sean McCafferty at Barca Academy. I’ve been blessed with many awesome people in my life that have helped me become a professional soccer player.
Diane Scavuzzo: What did you like best about being a resident at the Barca Academy? How did this help you prepare for the next step in your journey?
Matthew Hoppe: A lot of blood, sweat and tears went into my success at Casa Grande.
This place [Barca] has prepared me and put me in the environment to learn how to become a pro. It has taught me the importance of taking care of my body and having a healthy diet. It has also sharpened my technique, improved my decision making, and helped me to work harder than I have ever worked before.
I love that place and I will truly miss all of the people there and I have created amazing relationships that will last a lifetime.
I will miss all of the RA’s, staff, and coaches. I am happy for my time there and the bond that I have created with so many great people!
Before coming to Barca, I played mostly midfield. At Barca, I started playing striker. It was new to me and required a lot of learning and patience by Sean McCafferty, but he believed in me and stuck with me. I want to thank him now and always for everything he did for me.