A Look At Recent Non-MLS American Youth German Club Signings
Youth American players are flocking over to the Bundesliga for multiple different reasons, and a few of these players have chosen to follow young American star Christian Pulisic’s example in paving his own way without the assistance of an MLS club.
Recently, SoccerToday.com looked at several MLS Development Academy players who signed contracts to German clubs in the past year.
German soccer has started to capitalize on the surge in talented youth American players and several clubs look beyond MLS Development Academy players, giving opportunity and offers to talented youths missed by America’s system.
Young American players have been flocking to the Bundesliga, with well over a dozen youth stars making their way overseas in recent years.
The Bundesliga is well-known for their exceptional youth development systems, and it is so much more accessible to Americans than many other European countries, with the comparative simplicity in acquiring a work permit and the connection between many renowned soccer names from Germany to America or vice versa.
Much of this recent international success in the USA’s youth has rightfully been attributed to the growth of the MLS youth academy system in America. However, there are some talented outliers to the academies that have recently been picked up by a German club as well.
While most talented American youth players find themselves in an MLS academy at some point, not every player joins one of these programs.
Reasons for this include that MLS DA players cannot play for their local high school and are typically pulled from their high school classrooms, or that players don’t have the abilities or desire to move to a new location in order to join an academy. Youth players must simply choose a route that balances their top priorities and will move them along to their goals, whether that is through an MLS academy or local club.
Two of most recognizable young American field talents in Christian Pulisic and Weston McKennie have led the path for America’s youth talent to navigate their way over to the Bundesliga.
Pulisic, however, paved his own road to Germany, advertising his skills with PA Classics, a local club near his hometown of Hershey, Pennsylvania, until he signed with Borussia Dortmund’s U17 team at just 15 years old where he would go on to join the senior team.
Three youth American players have followed Pulisic’s example in the past year, playing for local non-MLS affiliated clubs before they earned contracts with Bundesliga club academies. Here is a brief look at each of these players and where they’ve found themselves in Germany.
Non-MLS Youth Players Playing With German Clubs
Non-MLS: Blaine Ferri—SpVgg Greuther Fürth
Blaine Ferri is an under-the-radar American talent who previously played for Solar Chelsea Soccer Club and earned U15 and U17 U.S. National Team appearances, scoring a goal in the 2017 FIFA U17 World Cup. Last August, the midfielder signed a contract with Greuther Fürth’s U19 squad that goes through June 30, 2019.
Non-MLS: Mason Judge—Eintracht Frankfurt
Center back Mason Judge joined Eintracht Frankfurt U17s last August and has made the starting XI for the majority of the squad’s matches. Originally from Tampa, Florida, Judge played for Chargers Soccer Club and trained with the U.S. Soccer Development Academy where he was twice awarded the Best XI for the Development Academy, along with playing in U.S. U17 National Team friendlies.
Non-MLS: Josh Sargent—SV Werder Bremen
Josh Sargent is a polished striker in the middle of a breakout point in his career. The teenage center forward has already made his international and professional debuts and scored in both. A finisher who can hold the ball and play through a defense, Sargent is likely to be a strong asset for the USMNT and Werder Bremen for years to come. The striker began his club soccer career with St. Louis Scott Gallagher Soccer Club, signed with Werder Bremen II in 2018, quickly made his way up to the first team, and has since earned ten appearances including one start.