Three for the Future: Young USMNTers to Watch

It’s been well-documented – the current crop of USMNT players is filled with a ton of young guys to be excited about. The team as it stands right now boasts an average age of about 25, with much of the spotlight on Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie – both of whom are injured – and Tim Weah. But what about the USMNT newbies, who have shown great promise on teams outside the likes of Dortmund, Schalke and PSG.

Here are a few choice players to watch – and a look at some of their highlights to see what they’ve got to offer this team at such a ripe age. 

JONATHAN AMON

The 19-year-old South Carolinian plays for FC Nordsjælland in the Danish Superliga, where he has amassed 607 minutes, four goals and an assist in 10 games across all competitions. Amon didn’t dress against Colombia Saturday, but look for him to get his first minutes against Peru.

A tricky winger who cuts in on his right foot, Amon is a strong dribbler who likes to take on defenders one-on-one and a player who can create chances on his own. He presses hard and looks to win the ball back in the opposition half, and even at the ripe of 19 he doesn’t look out of place physically against seasoned veterans.

This highlight really showcases what the guy can do. Makes an intelligent run, uses his pace get in behind, uses his strength to hold off the defender, takes a good touch and finishes off the chance.

While this one shows off what he can do with a little less space. Try not to drool watching him dribble right up the gut and find the right pass at the top of the box, leading to a goal.

Josh Sargent

A 18-year-old native of St. Louis and engineer of one of the biggest hype trains in America, Josh Sargent is turning heads at his German club, Werder Bremen. In 10 games with the team’s reserve side, the young striker has racked up six goals and two assists.

Sargent got his first taste of the senior USMNT earlier this year and bagged a goal in his debut against Bolivia. You don’t have to watch him long to see he could be the number 9 of the future. As he progresses, look for Sargent to be a striker who can do it all – he can finish with both feet, has great movement, dribbles well and create chances for others.

In limited minutes last weekend, he showcased his skill with a beautiful turn followed by a nice cutback in the box.

Here, for the Werder Bremen U23s, you’ll see him more as a traditional striker. Watch him make a run in behind and finish make a not-so-easy angle look pretty darn easy.

Andrija Novakovich

Wisconsin-born Novakovich is 22 years old currently plays for Fortuna Sittard in the Dutch Eredivisie while on loan from English club Reading. So far this season, he’s bagged 4 goals in eight league games. Though he stands 6 foot 4 inches, Nova isn’t just a Peter Crouch-esque target man. He likes the ball at his feet, and has some flair about his play. But hey, that height doesn’t hurt things either. The striker is well adept at knocking long balls down, which can create good chances for other players running off the ball (like the other two dudes mentioned in this article).

In this highlight, watch Nova make a long run, beat the defender to the ball, dribble his way back inside and cooly finish around the keeper.

Here you’ll see him stretch those long legs again as he sprints from midfield to get in behind the defender. But what’s really impressive is the composure when Nova gets on the ball. His first touch keeps him from taking the ball too wide, and then a clever dip of the shoulder before his second touch gives him the separation from the defender and sets him up to beat the keeper.

While these three might not immediately feature 90 minutes for the USMNT right now, look for them to shine in the minutes they get and prove they’re the building pieces for this team.