Sebastian Soto made a 12-minute cameo appearance for Hannover on his Bundesliga debut on Matchday 28. - © imago images / Nordphoto
Sebastian Soto made a 12-minute cameo appearance for Hannover on his Bundesliga debut on Matchday 28. - © imago images / Nordphoto

Sebastian Soto: Hannover's American striker starlet


Quick, powerful and with a keen eye for goal, Sebastian Soto looks to have all the attributes to shine at Hannover after making his Bundesliga debut on Matchday 28? But who exactly is the 18-year-old USA youth international?

Sebastian Soto

Age: 18
Club: Hannover
Position: Centre forward
Country: USA

The 18-year-old (r.) has made waves with the club's U19s this season following his move from Real Salt Lake last summer. - imago images / Nordphoto

Key stats

Since joining Hannover in the summer of 2018 from Real Salt Lake, where he spent two years in the youth academy, Soto has made a huge impact on the Bundesliga club's U19 team, scoring 17 goals in 24 appearances last term. That form did not go unnoticed and he was rewarded with a Bundesliga debut on Matchday 28 against Wolfsburg. In doing so, the 18-year-old from Carlsbad, California, became the 11th American to feature in the Bundesliga this season, and he went on to make two further appearances, but he will be a Bundesliga 2 player next term following Hannover's relegation. He opened the scoring for the US against Nigeria at the Under-20 FIFA World Cup in Poland at the end of May.

A USA U-20 international, Soto (l.) is also eligible to play for Mexico. - imago images / ZUMA Press

Plays a bit like: Lars Stindl

The former Hannover captain, now plying his trade for Borussia Mönchengladbach, became a fan-favourite for his work-ethic and goal scoring prowess. Soto appears to be following in similar footsteps and is much like Stindl in the way he scores his goal. Often finding himself in the right place at the right time in the opposition box, Soto is quick and strong, but his best asset is arguably his poaching ability in front of goal. With his natural qualities clearly impressing his coaches at Hannover, it will only help his cause to be trained in the Bundesliga like his potential future USMNT teammates such as Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams, Josh Sargent and Co.

Did you know?

Soto has made four appearances for the USA U19 team and seven appearances for the USA U20 team – scoring five and two goals in each age group respectively – but he could still choose to represent Mexico internationally in the future.

What they’re saying

"One thing that he has is the desire and the hunger a striker must have […] A lot of goals are from him being opportunistic and a good finisher, and a lot of goals are from him being determined and having that composure.” - Real Salt Lake academy director Martin Vazquez

"He has talent and has brought a fresh feeling with him. He's straight forward and a good guy. He'll be with us again. He's a USA U20 player and maybe even the future of Hannover." - Hannover head coach Thomas Doll