American teenager Matthew Hoppe has signed his first professional contract at Schalke. - © INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images
American teenager Matthew Hoppe has signed his first professional contract at Schalke. - © INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images
bundesliga

American Matthew Hoppe signs professional contract at Schalke

American striker Matthew Hoppe has signed his first professional contract, keeping him at Schalke until the end of the 2022/23 season.

Hoppe, 19, has exploded onto the scene this campaign and became the first US player to score a hat-trick in the Bundesliga when he fired Schalke to a 4-0 win at home to Hoffenheim, ending the club’s 30-match winless run in the league.

“Matthew has taken his chance and shown he has the potential to establish himself in the Bundesliga long term,” said the Royal Blues’ sporting director Jochen Schneider. “His development again underlines the good work of the Knappenschmiede and that Schalke is the right place for young players to develop.”

Watch: Matthew Hoppe - Schalke's new hope

Born in California and once on the books at Los Angeles Galaxy, Hoppe originally moved to Gelsenkirchen from the Barca Academy in 2019 to work with Schalke’s U19s but has rapidly risen through the levels.

The striker started this season with the reserves, scoring once in 16 Regionalliga appearances, before he was handed his senior bow in the Bundesliga away at Borussia Mönchengladbach on Matchday 9. His first professional goals came on his fifth appearance in the historic win over Hoffenheim. He followed that up with another goal in each of the next two games against Eintracht Frankfurt and Cologne, taking his tally for the first team to five in 10 games.

“The last weeks have been a dream. I’m hugely thankful to everyone in charge at Schalke for giving me this chance. Now I want to help us get back to playing successful football again soon,” Hoppe said after putting pen to paper on his deal.

Although yet to play for the USMNT, coach Gregg Berhalter has stated that he is keeping a close eye on Hoppe and that the striker will get a chance to represent his country if he continues to perform in the Bundesliga.