With Werder Bremen snapping up versatile U.S. talent Ethan Kohler from Oakland Roots Sports Club, bundesliga.com casts an eye over the Green-Whites’ promising new American teen.
Age: 18 (born May 20, 2005)
Club: Werder Bremen
Position: Defensive midfielder, defender
Country: United States
Born May 20, 2005 in Campbell, California, former South Bay native Kohler was signed by Roots SC in January of this year.
Equally comfortable playing in central defence as he is in defensive midfield, the 18-year-old enjoyed previous playing experience with San Jose Earthquakes II, competing in the MLS NEXT Pro. There, Kohler made 11 appearances and – in stats published by USL Championship – had a passing accuracy rate of 92.4 percent.
In April 2022, Kohler was called up to the USMNT U19 set-up. Joining Werder, he follows in the footsteps of compatriot Josh Sargent, who scored 15 goals in 83 senior appearances for the River Islanders between 2018 and 2021.
Plays a bit like: Joshua Kimmich
Kohler has a hell of a journey ahead if he is to emulate the career trajectory of the Bayern Munich and Germany behemoth, but there are early brush strokes of similarity in terms of playing style between the two. With great close control, a calm first touch and confident when passing under pressure, Kohler – who also enjoys bringing the ball forward – is not all that dissimilar to Kimmich when he was starting out at VfB Stuttgart and RB Leipzig.
Roots SC technical director Jordan Ferrell once spoke highly of Kohler's "...level of maturity for a young player and ability to control a match with the ball."
Watch: Joshua Kimmich - pass master
Did you know?
Prior to signing on the dotted line at the Weserstadion, Kohler spent some time in Bremen assessing the city and his possible future home.
What they're saying
“Of course it's a huge step for me to move from America to Europe, but Werder is a big club in Germany and I’m really looking forward to the challenge in Bremen.” - Kohler speaking to Werder's official website shortly after agreeing terms with Die Grün-Weißen.
“Ethan is a very ambitious player, with a good vision and a good understanding of the game. He has developed well so far and can play as a centre-back as well as a number six. We see him primarily as a number six and want him to continue his development with us.” - Clemens Fritz, head of scouting and professional football at Bremen.
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