The Upcoming American Generation
Trinidad and Tobago pulled off a shocking victory against the United States. The United States did not qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The USMNT have just been eliminated from the upcoming World Cup. The United States will now miss football’s biggest party for the first time since 1986 after a disastrous away loss to the Trinidad and Tobago to the shock and displeasure of the many faithful American ‘soccer’ fans… However even with many things going wrong for the USMNT, the American faithful can look forward to a brighter future next WC cycle with Pulisic and these 9 other bright young stars leading the country to potential new heights for many years to come.
Christian Pulisic (19)
Already a starter for Dortmund at the age of just 19 and already one of the best players to have ever played for the USMNT. The pacey, skillful winger is one of the hottest prospects in the world, having attracted interest from some of Europe’s giants. And deservedly so. Having scored 10 goals in 65 appearances for Dortmund (assisting 14 in the process), and 9 in 20 games for the USMNT, he has the potential to make it to the very top.
Timothy Weah (17)
The son of the legendary striker George Weah, he certainly has the genes to thrive. Born and raised in USA before moving to France in 2014 to join PSG Academy, he has impressed this season playing for the U19s, scoring 4 goals in 6 games so far in the UEFA Youth League.
Tyler Adams (18)
Incredibly mature for his age, the young midfielder who has already played 22 games for NYRB in the MLS, has future national team captain written all over him. Fast and strong, capable of playing both holding midfielder and fullback, a move to Europe shouldn’t take long. Perhaps he could soon replace Naby Keïta at fellow Red Bull Football Group club, RB Leipzig. One thing is for sure, the sky is the limit for Tyler Adams.
Weston McKennie (18)
One of the brightest prospects of Schalke 04’s academy. Made his first start against the mighty Bayern, when he played for 60 minutes against the likes of Robert Lewandowski, James Rodriguez and Thiago Alcântara. That was followed by another start against Hoffenheim, which was followed by a third start in as many games against Bayer Leverkusen. He recently signed a contract extension which ties him up until 2022, clearly showing that Schalke believe in him.
Gedion Zelalem (20)
Famously described as “dribbling like Andres Iniesta and passing like Xavi” by a former coach, he looked like he would be overtaking players far older than him on his way into the Arsenal first team. That didn’t happen, and Gedion stagnated. However, at only 20 years of age, he still has a lot of time to get his career back on track. The loan move to Venlo should help him develop.
Joshua Sargent (17)
Caught the eyes of scouts around Europe with 4 goals and an assist in the U20 World Cup. A deal was later agreed with Werder Bremen and the Missouri native can officially sign once he turns 18 in February. Composed and clinical in front of goal, he certainly has the potential to lead the line for the USMNT in the near future.
Andrew Carleton (17)
Perhaps the biggest toss up in this article, Andrew, unlike many youth talents who have chosen to move abroad to develop their careers, is a true homegrown talent. Born and raised in Georgia he’s eager to prove that US can produce good players without help from Europe. He made his debut for MLS team Atlanta United this season at the age of just 16. Carleton models his attacking game around his idol, a certain Cristiano Ronaldo and has scored 20 goals in 32 games for the United States U-17’s.
Cameron Carter-Vickers (19)
Currently on loan at Sheffield United, the future at Tottenham Hotspurs doesn’t seem so bright for Carter-Vickers. The defender, with an unbelievable physique for someone of his age, not too long ago, looked like he would be the future of Tottenham’s backline. However this season, the North London club landed highly rated Colombian defender Davison Sanchez from Ajax as well as Argentina U-20’s defender Juan Foyth from Estudiantes. These moves came shortly after Cameron was sent out on loan, and reasonably so, as he spent last season stuck on the bench with Tottenham’s first team. However, with the signings of Sanchez and especially Foyth, it appears that the former reserves captain might not be part of Tottenham’s long term plans after all. Nevertheless, the loan move should help the American develop, and at just 19, he still has a lot of time to realize his potential.
Erik Palmer-Brown (20)
Has already captained the youth sides for the United States and impressed Manchester City’s scouts with his performances during the U-20 World Cup. He will finish the current season with Kansas City and join Manchester City in January. Then he’s expected to spend the rest of the 2017-18 out on loan. Possesses great speed and can play both in defense and in midfield. Should improve his strength.
Haji Wright (19)
A combination of strength, pace and cold blooded finishing, Haji Wright joined Schalke along with fellow American McKennie in 2015. He was top scorer for Schalke’s reserves last season which earned him a loan move to 2.Bundesliga club Sandhausen, where he has scored one goal in 7 matches so far this season.