One of six FC Dallas homegrowns who joined Bayern Munich for a training stint earlier this offseason, 17-year-old defender Justin Che impressed enough to secure a loan to the reigning Bundesliga and UEFA Champions League winners through June 2021.
While the US youth international awaits his MLS debut, he placed on last year’s USL League One All-League First Team after featuring for North Texas SC, FCD’s reserve side. Now, he's ready to cut against stigmas that sometimes accompany Americans playing overseas.
“There is the stereotype of American soccer compared to European soccer,” Che said in an American Soccer Now interview with Brian Sciaretta. “Yes, top European soccer is better. But there's also some players in America that can compete with European soccer, if not be better. I definitely thought I showcased some of that.
“The style of play is quick. The players growing up here, they come up where technique and composure and precision is a big thing on the ball. That's why you kind of see the difference between the top leagues and in other leagues across the world.”
Che signed a deal with FC Dallas in October 2020 through 2023 with a club option for 2024, so he’s clearly a prospect that the MLS side rates highly. He’s also the second FC Dallas player to join Bayern via their Elite Player Development partnership, following in the footsteps of US men’s national team defender Chris Richards, who’s now on loan at TSG 1899 Hoffenheim.
Looking long-term, Che isn’t exactly sure where his future lies. He could impress enough to earn a permanent move overseas or return to FC Dallas this summer and fight for playing time.
“We'll see what the future holds,” Che said. “I don't think it's my decision. It is more of Dallas' decision and Bayern's decision. I go if I go back or if I stay here, I'll continue working hard and find myself or find a path that leads to a bright future and playing at the highest level.”
For more from Che, check out the full American Soccer Now story here.