American Exports: USMNT hopeful Julian Green highlights European reserve leagues
AMSTERDAM – It's time again for our periodic check into the adventures of Americans honing their craft in European reserve teams. And Bayern Munich II's Julian Green is still scoring.
If the wide revelation that he'd accepted a US national team call-up for November and the stateside fanfare that followed it had the teen attacker feeling any added pressure this past weekend, he has a great way of hiding it. Green (above) scored twice and added an assist as the Regionalliga Bayern leaders did away with visitors Heimstetten by a 5-0 count.
By pouncing on a pair of first-half rebounds, the Bayern II sensation reached 15 goals in as many games to grab a share of the league lead. Green, who has hit 11 times in his last seven starts, already has five multiple-goal games on the season.
Lletget It on
The other hot topic among young American reserves in the early going has been West Ham United's Sebastian Lletget. He's been acing second-team appearances this season and has periodically dressed for the Hammers you see on TV since last winter. Diehard American Exports watchers are clamoring for his breakthrough.
Freshly turned 21, Lletget has seen an early-season scoring binge end, but the effectiveness has remained. Despite encountering line clearances and set-ups that end in great saves over the last few reserve matches, the playmaker has helped the U-21 Premier League leaders extend their win streak to four games with a pair of October victories.
And what about the status of his path to the first team? One potential midfield obstacle, Jack Collison, has just departed for a month's loan at Bournemouth.
Green is not the only Regionalliga prospect with USMNT potential currently lighting it up. Operating in a more advanced role, Hoffenheim II's Fabian Hürzeler has three goals in three October matches for a side that is struggling big time at home.
Now working as a box-raiding quasi-No. 10 attacker, Hürzeler started the month with a brace in a victory at Hessen Kassel. He buried a lane-filling header before finishing well off some nice two-man game. The next time out, he fired the late winner to go along with Joseph Gyau's insurance tally for a 2-0 win at Wormatia Worms.
The US youth winger has also been warming up of late, with two October strikes of his own. The main thing standing in the way of these two battling for Hoffenheim time is the fact the recent additions in central midfield and attack are consistently helping the senior side, currently sitting in a comfy ninth place.
Getting a Taste
Earlier this month, Freiburg II defensive midfielder Caleb Stanko was rewarded for his fine form with a bench appearance for the senior team in their 2-0 Europa League defeat at Sevilla.
Though typically in central defense when with US youth sides, the 20-year-old Michigan native has ably been setting up office in front of the backline for a club currently shy of the Regionalliga Südwest summit by mere goal differential.
Despite the position change, he's still helping the team keep concessions tight; since Stanko's debut as a defender back in 2011, Freiburg II have gone 17-3-12 with nine shutouts. In 13 games this term, they have allowed just 10 goals and suffered one loss with the American on the field.