Cologne handed US youth international forward Damion Downs his Bundesliga debut on Matchday 5 of 2023/24 - what's his story?
Stats correct as of 23 September 2023
Age: 19 (born 6 July 2004)
Country: USA/ Germany (uncapped)
Germany-born Downs played for the youth teams of hometown club Schweinfurt and Ingolstadt, before switching to the Cologne U17s in September 2020. The 6'3" striker made the step up to the U19s within a year and, despite various injury problems, produced 10 goals and five assists across 17 league appearances at that level. He also contributed three goals and as many assists to the U19s team that won the 2022/23 junior German Cup, as well as one assist in three U23 outings.
Already unused Bundesliga substitute on two occasions and kitted out with a pro contract through to summer 2026, Downs kicked off 2023/24 with two goals in eight outings for the reserves in Germany's fourth tier. The American prospect was rewarded with his Bundesliga debut on Matchday 5, playing the final seven minutes of Cologne's 2-1 loss at Werder Bremen.
Plays a bit like: Miroslav Klose
A rangy central striker with more pace than the average No.9, Downs has a touch of Germany record scorer Miroslav Klose about his budding game.
Did you know?
As a German-American - born in Germany but with US citizenship - Downs has a decision to make. He's been called up to represent both nations at youth level, but is yet to debut for either. Will he plump for his country of birth or take Route USMNT like fellow Deutschamerikaner such as Jermaine Jones, Fabian Johnson and Timothy Chandler?
What they're saying
"Damion's continued to develop since the U17s. He's overcome setbacks to have a great season with the U19s, showing the qualities he possessed. We're sure he can take the next step with the pros." - Thomas Kessler, head of first-team football at Cologne
"This is what I always wanted, it's a dream. I feel at home here and I'll do everything to play in the Bundesliga." - Downs after signing his first pro contract with Cologne
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