United States youth international Joe Scally’s Bundesliga debut delivered on several levels and added some intrigue for USMNT supporters.
That’s because the 18-year-old New York City FC export went 90 minutes at left back for Borussia Monchengladbach in a 1-1 draw with champions Bayern Munich.
Scally, who also played 90 minutes at the same position in a German Cup defeat of lower-division Kaiserslautern, wasn’t bowed by Robert Lewandowski and Co.
The teenager won 8-of-11 duels and registered four clearances, three interceptions, and two tackles. Scally drew two fouls and connected on four-of-five long passes as part of a 59-touch, 85 percent passing day that included two-of-three success with dribbles.
[ MORE: Bundesliga hub — Standings, schedule, stats ]
The draw represents an inauspicious debut for new Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann and a happy start to life at Gladbach for Scally and new manager Adi Hutter.
Alassane Plea put Gladbach up after 10 minutes and Lewandowski had it 1-1 off a corner kick before halftime, but Bayern couldn’t find a second goal despite a 21-11 shots advantage and around two-thirds possession.
New season, same Lewandowski! 🔥
He gets Bayern on the board with this volley! pic.twitter.com/F7pmtHRUc6
— ESPN (@espn) August 13, 2021
Naglesmann left RB Leipzig to take over for Hansi Flick this summer, one of several high-profile manager shifts in the Bundesliga. So far, so meh very early for a well-regarded young manager. It’ll work out, but how long will it take as Bayern chases a 10th-straight league crown?
What does the USMNT future hold for Joe Scally?
While left back is no longer a boneyard for the USMNT, it’s still a position without a nailed-on starter as Sergino Dest, Antonee Robinson, and Reggie Cannon are candidates to start for Gregg Berhalter.
Scally’s been a right back or right mid for most of his career, though it’s worth noting that the New Yorker with a New Year’s Eve birthday only made seven appearances for NYCFC before moving abroad.
Keep an eye on Gladbach’s lineups as Hutter has clearly enjoyed the talents of Scally but was also without injured left back Ramy Bensebaini, who has been very, very good for the side.
But as Scally’s NYCFC academy teammates James Sands and Giovanni Reyna continue to make their imprints on the USMNT, Scally’s chance isn’t too far away even with World Cup qualifying looming and experimentation about to slow.