Five Young American Players Who Have Bright Futures
Disclaimer: We know the worries of over hyping. The stutters of players like Juan Agudelo, Julian Green and the OG overhype, Freddy Adu have left us all disappointed. We simply want to highlight five players who have the right skillset to get to the next level and might not get enough coverage.
1. Duane Holmes (24, Columbus, GA) - Derby County, English Championship
The attacking midfielder has experienced a massive resurgence in his career within the past year. Holmes, who first broke out at Huddersfield Town, needed new direction before making his mark at Scunthorpe United. A deadline day signing for Derby, Duane has been pulling the strings with his ability to thread the needle on a pass and be at the right place to tap in a neat finish. Typically, Duane plays center or attacking mid in Derby’s 4-3-3 or 4-2-3-1 formations. There is a clear need for a number 10 on this USMNT squad, with Pulisic most likely finding his best form on the wing. Holmes’ creative instincts, agility, and knack to find the net make him a serious option for supplying the USMNT offense.
The irony with Holmes is his pure Yorkshire accent. He was born in Georgia to an American family and identifies as American. But does it matter how he speaks when he can pass like this?
2. Romain Gall - (24, Herndon, VA) - Malmo FF, Swedish Allesvenskan
Gall, a winger for Swedish side Malmo FF, lit up the Swedish first division last year. Though the league has just begun, we expect that Gall will continue his great form and get a lot of minutes for one of the best teams in Sweden. Romain is known for his classic winger technique - impressive transitional pace, nice dribbling and a thunderous shot. He’s well known for picking the ball up on the wing, cutting in, and buying himself a yard or so of space to unleash a rocket into the top corner.
Honestly, his special right foot sets him apart from some of the other wingers in the American contingency. Check out this superb brace from last season:
3. Cameron Carter-Vickers (Baton Rouge, LA) - Swansea City, English Championship
Owned by the most high profile team out of all the players on this list, Cameron Carter-Vickers (CCV) plays for Swansea City in the Championship, while on loan from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur. CCV is another British-American who emerged from the youth ranks of the North London club, before making it to the first team roster and then being loaned out multiple times over the last two seasons. CCV is known for his immense strength, heading ability and stamina. He played 35 games over the course of last season for Sheffield United and has been a regular starter since the turn of the year for Swansea this season. We are excited to see him hopefully get some first team minutes for Spurs or the USMNT soon.
Learn a little bit more about CCV’s background with this special RISING video he shot for USSoccer:
4. Sergino Dest (New York, NY) - Jong Ajax, Dutch Second Division
With Tyler Adams clearly best playing in center mid, there needs to be some proper competition for DeAndre Yedlin in the right back slot. Sergino Dest, a Dutch-American defender earning his stripes for the Ajax reserves is a strong option. He is quickly turning heads as his performances have been remarkable in the competitive second Dutch Division. Dest is very pacy, can dribble past a man, and has solid long ball and crossing abilities. Dest has played a few games at left back as well, showing that he has a decent “weak” foot.
He has even had some success as a winger for Ajax Amsterdam this season. Though he could improve in the final third, in the 2018/19 season, he has four goals and six assists across all competitions. If he continues his success, we could even see him develop into another option on the outside of midfield.
Check out some of his midseason highlights below: (note the music on the compilation video has profanity)
5. Sebastian Soto (18, Carlsbad, CA) - Hannover 96, Bundesliga
Originally from California, Sebastian Soto recently signed his first professional contract with Hannover 96 in Germany. After an incredible 12 goals and five assists in 18 games for Hannover’s U19 squad, he was picked up by the first team and played in his first Bundesliga match. Soto has keen attacking positioning, often acting as a poacher-type striker, burying shots in from within the 18-yard box. He also has a turn of pace, which paired with his composure in front of goal will make him a major asset for Hannover’s relegation battle this season and potential promotion challenge next season.
Here are some of Soto’s goals from his youth days in RSL and with Hannover’s reserves: