Jerome Kiesewetter

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With club season open, PST assesses the Top 15 USMNT prospects under 23

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Friday brings us the beginning of the Bundesliga season, meaning every major league will have started its season.

There are American players throughout Europe worth watching, many of them well-established with their clubs. We know plenty of Danny Williams at Reading, of Fabian Johnson at Borussia Monchengladbach, and Geoff Cameron at Stoke City.

[ MORE: Yedlin, Newcastle make it official ]

But what about the young crowd, the ones we know a bit less about? Let’s call the group Americans under the age of 23, with 10 caps or less. We quizzed our ProSoccerTalk staff, weighted the rankings according to power, and wound up with 15 names from MLS to the PL.

Players were given one point for each mention, and a corresponding value to whether they were ranked first (10 points) or tenth (1 point) by a given writer.

PST’s Top 15 USMNT prospects

15. Joe Gyau, Borussia Dortmund (1)

The 23-year-old was about as exciting a prospect as any when he tore his meniscus against Ecuador. Now, he’s just getting back on the pitch and a loan may be on the cards.

14. Wil Trapp, Columbus Crew (3)

Of players aged 23 or younger, only one has had a better overall season than Trapp. The 23-year-old just fits on our list, and needs to find another level, but he’s going to be solid at worst.

13. Walker Zimmerman, FC Dallas (4)

The seventh-overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, the big Georgian has been outstanding this season.

12. Erik Palmer-Brown, Sporting KC/Porto B (5)

It’s easy to forget about EPB, the 6-foot-1 center back who left SKC on loan in February, but he’s gone 90 minutes in every match since making his Porto B debut in March. Juventus bid $1 million for Palmer-Brown when he was still 16, and they know a thing or two about scouting kids.

11. Rubio Rubin, FC Utrecht (6)

The 20-year-old started Utrecht’s first two matches of the season as a center forward after foot surgery cost him much of 2015-16. No one should ignore his 3 goal, 6 assist season the previous season.

10. Keegan Rosenberry, Philadelphia Union (9)

The very likely MLS Rookie of the Year has been a dynamite part of Philadelphia’s resurgent season.

Emerson Hyndman, afcb.co.uk
Emerson Hyndman, afcb.co.uk

9. Emerson Hyndman, AFC Bournemouth (12)

The 20-year-old just moved to the Premier League, and has yet to debut after playing out his contract with Fulham in hopes of greener pastures.

8. Matt Miazga, Chelsea (20)

One decent match followed by a bad half; That’s all we’ve seen from Miazga since leaving the New York Red Bulls for Chelsea last January. A loan seems likely.

7. Ethan Horvath, Molde (22)

The 20-year-old is a full-time ‘keeper with Europa League experience. He should get his chance to impress at the USMNT level, sooner rather than later.

6. Gedion Zelalem, Arsenal (27)

Still hoping for an Arsenal breakthrough, the 19-year-old made 28 appearances on loan for Rangers last season.

5. Lynden Gooch, Sunderland (33)

Gooch drew raves for his work with the Black Cats U-21 team, and has earned playing time under new manager David Moyes. One to watch, and contracted at the Stadium of Light through 2018-19.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 13: Lynden Gooch of Sunderland challenges David Silva of Manchester City during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Sunderland at Etihad Stadium on August 13, 2016 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – AUGUST 13: Lynden Gooch of Sunderland challenges David Silva. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

4. Julian Green, Bayern Munich (37)

With a new lease on life under Carlo Ancelotti, could be set for a breakthrough season.

3. Jordan Morris, Seattle Sounders (41)

There’s a lot of hope for the striker, who is getting the professional refinement he needs at the MLS level. If he sorts out his left foot, he could be a lethal piece of the USMNT future.

2. Cameron Carter-Vickers, Tottenham Hotspur (44)

A year ago, he told Joe Prince-Wright that he had added confidence from captaining Spurs’ U-21 side. He’s staying with Mauricio Pochettino‘s First Team this season, and spent the first two matches as an unused sub.

1. Christian Pulisic, Borussia Dortmund (55)

We don’t have to really say anything, do we? The 17-year-old Pennsylvania kid has made an impact at one of the biggest clubs in the world, and could be set for a loan now that BVB has added Mario Gotze, Andre Schurrle, and Ousmane Dembele.

USMNT striker Kiesewetter moves to 2.Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf

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Jordan Morris’ U-23 strike partner has a new home in club football.

American international Jerome Kiesewetter is moving to 2.Bundesliga side Fortuna Dusseldorf to start a two-year deal under head coach Friedhelm Funkel.

[ MORE: U.S., Chinese investors buy 80 percent of OGC Nice ]

Twice capped under Jurgen Klinsmann, Kiesewetter struggled to break through at Bundesliga unit Stuttgart, going on loan to Hertha Berlin in 2014. He scored six times in 16 appearances for the U.S. U-23 side.

Here’s what Funkel said of his new striker, from the Fortuna Dusseldorf site:

“With his dynamic and his speed Jerome Kiesewetter will be an asset to our attack. It is no coincidence that at a young age first he’s played for Bundesliga team VfB and in the American national team. We will make every effort to further grow his undoubted qualities “

Call it the Bobby Wood model, but it’s a wise move for Kiesewetter to move to the 2.Bundesliga and find a squad that will give him the chance to make an impact. We’ll be monitoring the speedy winger closely.

U23s recap: Brazil goes down to 10 men vs U.S., holds on for 2-1 win

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Luan Michel de Louzã and Gabriel Barbosa gave Brazil’s U-23 men’s national team a 2-0 lead over the U.S. U-23s, and then dealt with a red card in holding on for a 2-1 win on Wednesday night in Recife.

Jerome Kiesewetter won and converted a PK for the Yanks in the loss. The U.S. will regret waiting until the red card to advance the ball with any intent.

The U.S. is playing a pair of matches against Brazil’s U-23s this week in continued preparation for the CONCACAF-CONMEBOL Olympic qualifying playoff against Colombia, which must be played by March.

[ MORE: How will the USMNT line-up in Friday’s World Cup qualifying opener? ]

The first half in Recife was all Brazil.

U.S. keeper Charlie Horton was whistled for a six-second violation, giving Brazil an indirect kick just inside the 18. The U.S. wall was a yard outside the six, and Gabriel’s shot went off Fred Rodrigues Santos and into the wall.

Horton had to fly to stop a 30-yard blast from Fred as the game reached 20 minutes, and Brazil controlled much of the possession at home.

Things were testy, as Matt Polster and Fred both picked up yellows as the half moved on. The States were forced into a first half change due to a leg injury to Boyd Okwuono. Oscar Sorto came on for the Real Salt Lake defender.

Brazil was extremely dangerous with overlapping runs on the wings, especially on the right side of the States defense. Fred thankfully blasted a shot over the bar on a wide-open ball late in the frame.

The 43rd minute saw Brazil up 1-0 on a terrific through ball from Lucas Silva to Gabriel, who blazed a run past Cameron Carter-Vickers before rounding Horton to finish the game’s first goal.

Jon Kempin replaced Horton at half.

The States came out with fire to start the second half, but Brazil countered and scored before the half was 90 seconds old. Luan had time and opportunity from the right side of the 18, and curled a ball around Kempin.

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The United States picked up a penalty kick when a high-pressing Jerome Kiesewetter was taken down in the 18. Doria, who was booked in the first half, was sent off for his second yellow.

Kiesewetter converted, and it was 2-1.

The U.S. then pushed forward for the equalizer, and really asserted itself physically. Brazil hunkered down for a 15-minute span, and the play was essentially the Yanks trying to work the left side of the pitch, but rarely cutting forward decisively or showing ideas to get through the banks of Brazilians.

Fred hit a late rocket off the crossbar, and the States just couldn’t get through to goal. A stoppage-time header off a corner popped over goal in the most dangerous moment.

U.S. stars of the game:

1. Kiesewetter – relentless, and made smart runs off the ball. Clinical finish of his PK opportunity

2. Polster – the Chicago Fire’s rookie star did plenty of solid work as a holding mid before subbing off for Dillon Serna.

3. Horton.

And at the other end of the productivity spectrum: Julian Green was invisible, Khiry Shelton struggled with his touch as a hold-up striker, and Okwuono looked a bit overwhelmed at times.

Olympic qualifying: USA hammers Cuba, 6-1

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KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The United States under-23 national team is officially into the semifinals of the 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying Championship, one win away from qualifying for the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro, after hammering an overwhelmed and undermanned (five players have defected since joining the team this week) Cuba side, 6-1 here at Sporting Park.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Olympic coverage | USMNT ]

Cameron Carter-Vickers put the Americans on the board in the 16th minute, when he headed home Luis Gil’s free kick from no more than four yards out. Gil’s in-swinging ball beat the first line of Cuban defenders and fell ever-so-perfectly to the head of the retreating Tottenham Hotspur center back.

Matt Miazga gave the U.S. U23s a deserved 2-0 lead in the 36th minute. Matt Polster whipped in the out-swinging cross, Miazga rose above multiple defenders nine yards from goal and sent a looping, bouncing header for the far post where Cuban shot-stopped Sandy Sanchez could do nothing about it.

[ MORE: Get to know the current USMNT U-23 squad ]

Two minutes later, Jordan Morris fed Jerome Kiesewetter his first goal of the tournament on a silver platter. Gil played Morris, who scored twice off of Kiesewetter assists Thursday night, into the penalty area. As Sanchez raced out to close down Morris’s shooting angle, the Stanford University standout squared the ball to Kiesewetter at the top of the six-yard box. No mistake from Kiesewetter, who slotted the ball home first-time.

Kiesewetter made it 4-0 to the U.S. U-23s in the 49th minute. Marc Pelosi crossed the ball from wide of the six-yard box, past the scrambling Sanchez, all the way across the endline. Kiesewetter, 22, was waiting at the far post and hammered the ball into an empty net.

[ MORE: USA 3-1 Canada (Thursday night) | Three things we learned ]

Emerson Hyndman’s finish from a tight angle made it 5-0 in the 69th minute.

Alonso Hernandez made it 6-0 in the 76th minute. Gboly Ariyibi played the FC Juarez striker into the penalty area, where a thoroughly defeated Cuba defense was slow to close him down. Hernandez for the near post and bagged his first goal of the tournament.

Daniel Luis scored Cuba’s late consolation goal in the 92nd minute.

Up next for the U.S. is a clash with Panama on Tuesday in Commerce City, Colo. A draw secures top spot in Group A, meaning the not-so-baby Yanks would play the runners-up from Group B (Mexico are expected to finish top) in the semifinals. The two semifinal winners secure automatic qualification for next summer’s Olympics. If the U.S. lose on Tuesday, Canada could finish top with a win and the making up of seven goals in the goal differential column.

USA 3-1 Canada: Morris’s brace defies labored USMNT performance

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KANSAS CITY, KAN. — The United States U-23 national team’s quest to qualify for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro got off to a strong start Thursday night, as Andi Herzog’s squad knocked off Canada, 3-1 here at Sporting Park.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s Olympic coverage | USMNT ]

Jordan Morris bagged a brace, his fourth and fifth U-23 goals of the calendar year, on a night that saw the not-so-baby Yanks race out to an early lead, defend for their lives for the better part of 45 minutes, score a second goal against the run of play and conceded shortly thereafter to keep the final result in doubt until a third goal secured all three points.

The Americans took an early lead before Canada had their first touch of the ball. Jerome Kiesewetter raced down the right wing and whipped a dangerous cross to the top of the six-yard box, where Morris was waiting. The 20-year-old collegiate star rose above his marker and headed the ball home with ease.

Kiesewetter continued his tormenting of Canada in the 21st minute, when he was once again released down the right wing, cut inside on Jeremy Gagnon-Lapare and unleashed a left-footed strike that looked destined to nestle itself inside the far post. If not for the outstretched paw of Maxime Crepeau, it would have been 2-0.

Canada began the second half on the front foot, much like the final 15 minutes of the first. Wil Trapp, Emerson Hyndman and Fatai Alashe, the U.S.’s three deepest-sitting midfielders, were guily of a number of turnovers inside their own half of the field, which made short work for ensuing Canadian counters. Quality of the final ball was clearly lacking, though, as U.S. goalkeeper Zack Steffen faced just one shot on goal to open the second period, a slow-roller from Caleb Clarke.

[ MORE: Get to know the current USMNT U-23 squad ]

The U.S.’s first chance in nearly 30 minutes came courtesy of a perfectly weighted through ball from Hyndman to Kiesewetter down the same right side. The Berlin-born 22-year-old raced into the penalty area and fired for the far post, only to see Crepeau come make the stop once again.

Steffen was called into action again in the 68th minute following another careless American turnover. Cristopher Mannella cut inside from the right wing and hit a tame, curling shot for the far post, but the 20-year-old Freiburg ‘keeper sprang to his right and held the ball well.

Morris bagged his second of the night when he raced behind the Canadian backline in the 73rd minute. Trapp played a delicately chipped through ball over the top, Morris beat Luca Gasparotto to the ball, held off the Toronto FC II defender and finished with great composure between the legs of Crepeau.

Canada pulled back to within a single in the 81st minute, as Michael Petrasso‘s flicked header following Mannella’s in-swinging corner kick eluded a frozen-in-place Steffen and snuck just inside the far post.

Luis Gil capped off the night’s scoring from the penalty spot in the 92nd minute. Gagnon-Lapare’s last-gasp, sliding challenge brought Kiesewetter down inside the box moments earlier.

Up next for the U.S. will be Cuba here at Sporting Park (Watch live, Saturday, 5 p.m. ET on Telemundo). Canada will face the other half of Thursday night’s opener, a 1-1 draw, Panama at 2:30 p.m. ET.