Reyna, Scally, Pepi, Tillman and Paredes: 5 Americans to watch in 2022/23
Some will be looking to recharge their top-flight fortunes while others are determined to hit the ground running in a new season that promises so much. But just who are the young Americans preparing to make 2022/23 their own? bundesliga.com investigates ...
Position: Attacking midfielder
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Following an injury-filled season he will be keen to lock up and consign to the past, Reyna is ready to attack 2022/23 with all the energy of a raging bull. The USMNT attacking midfielder has plenty of targets to hit in the forthcoming campaign, not least ensuring he makes it into Gregg Berhalter's squad for this winter's FIFA World Cup in Qatar. A fresh slate for Reyna will also mean playing under recently appointed BVB coach Edin Terzic, the man under whom the 19-year-old won the 2020/2021 DFB Cup.
Watch: Reyna - Half a century and more to come!
During that season, Reyna scored seven times and provided eight assists in 46 games across all competitions, and it is those numbers the young American will be aiming for again, as soon as his recent hamstring woes are behind him. All set to play an integral role within what will likely be one of the Bundesliga's most exciting attacks, the one time New York City FC academy player will revel in the possibilities of what partnering Marco Reus, Julian Brandt and new arrival Karim Adeyemi might produce. Greatness awaits.
Club: Borussia Mönchengladbach
Scally was one of the stand-out players in what was a trying campaign for Gladbach last season, but hopes are high for last season's 10th-place finishers after new coach Daniel Farke took up the reins at the club. The 45-year-old will like what he sees in the versatile Scally, who covered four positions while racking up 33 appearances, a goal and two assists in all competitions lat term. Highlights included a 90 minute showing in the opening day 1-1 draw against Bayern Munich, while Scally was involved again in Die Fohlen's season highlight - a 5-0 thumping of Bayern in the DFB Cup.
The New York City FC product recently made his senior USMNT debut in a friendly against Morocco and he followed that by playing the entirety of his nation's scoreless draw against Uruguay on 5 June. The dream will be to make it to the FIFA World Cup finals - where the States begin their campaign against Wales on 21 November - but prior to that, Scally will need to continue to impress at Gladbach in what will be his second full season with the senior squad.
"If you're prepared for it, if you expect it, then it's going to come." Ricardo Pepi is one who likes to visualise success in anticipation of achieving it. Indeed, the former MLS young player of the year will undoubtedly be imagining 2022/23 as his breakout season in the Bundesliga having laid the groundwork in the second half of last season after he agreed to move to Bavaria from FC Dallas.
The El Paso native - already 11 times a senior USMNT international - clocked up 475 minutes during 11 Bundesliga games as Augsburg staved off relegation. While having been involved in 16 of FC Dallas's 47 goals in 2021, Pepi awaits his first German top-flight goal, but those who know the exciting striker will vouch that he will soon be finding the back of the net on the regular.
"What I really like [about Ricardo] is that he has this instinct, and it's really hard to teach that to players," USMNT boss Berhalter said previously of the striker. Pepi will be working hard to improve on his eight shots at goal for Augsburg to date but, having covered almost 40 miles upon Bundesliga pitches across Germany in his brief time in the country to date, Pepi has shown a willingness to work hard and wait for his opportunity. That looks certain to come in the new season.
Position: Attacking midfielder
Club: Bayern Munich
Tillman immediately showed new boss Julian Nagelsmann what he was capable of by scoring in the whopping 12-0 win at Bremer SV in the DFB Cup last August. A pair of UEFA Champions League appearances followed in November and December, before Tillman made his Bundesliga bow as a substitute in Matchday 16's 5-0 win at VfB Stuttgart.
He featured in each of the next three league outings for Bayern and started for the first time in a 2-1 defeat at home to a Scally-less Gladbach on Matchday 18. Tillman ended the campaign with seven first team appearances to go with his four goals and four assists in 15 outings for the reserves in what was a breakout 12 months for the 20-year-old, who was rewarded in May with his first pro contract with Bayern.
Watch: US Stars: World Cup Bound
Not long before penning those terms that keep him at the club until at least 2024, the Nuremberg-native - and Germany U21 international - committed his international future to the USA. Tillman qualifies through his American father and Berhalter wasted little time in bringing the youngster into the senior fold. By the start of June, Tillman had made his USA debut alongside Scally in the aforementioned draw with Morocco. He earned a second international cap at the start of the United States' CONCACAF Nations League defence against Grenada and Tillman is clearly standing on the edge of something special for both club and country.
How will versatile left-sided player Kevin Paredes be visualising his first full season as a Wolfsburg player? Increased game time under newly-landed coach Niko Kovac will certainly be a goal for the U.S. youth international, who enjoyed his first minutes in the Bundesliga with appearances against Arminia Bielefeld and Mainz during his maiden half campaign in Germany. Competition for places will be fierce for the 19-year-old, who is as equally adept at playing wide on the left as he is at full-back, a position Berhalter told the teen he was keeping in mind for.
Describing his first minutes in Germany's top division in April as "a dream come true," Paredes would be fulfilling one more ambition should he line up opposite Canadian sensation and Bayern Munich star, Alphonso Davies, at some point in the forthcoming coming season. The Virginia native has previously admitted to being hugely inspired by the four-time Bundesliga winner and 2019/20 UEFA Champions League victor, to the point he modelled his young career on the Bayern favourite. The prospects for Paredes among the Wolves in 2022/23 are spine-tingling.
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