United States youth international Sebastian Soto had an unusual training partner at Hannover this week – former Germany chancellor Gerhard Schröder.

Real Salt Lake academy product Soto left his homeland earlier this summer to link up with the Bundesliga side, following in the footsteps of fellow 18-year-old American Chris Gloster.

Soto has already scored twice in four matches for Hannover’s under-19 team – where he plays alongside left-back Gloster – and on Wednesday the Californian had the honour of showing 74-year-old Schröder around.

As well as being chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005, Schröder is a well-known Hannover supporter and board member. Soto helped the retired politician discover some of the facilities at the club’s academy, which was opened in 2016 following an investment of around €18 million.

Soto (r.) guided former Germany Chancellor Gerhard Schröder (2nd l.) and his wife Soyeon Kim (l.) around the Hannover academy on Tuesday. © imago / Rainer Droese

As part of the visit, the promising attacker also traded some passes with Schröder, who was supposedly a handy striker in his own playing days.

“Of course I know who Mr. Schröder is,” Soto told Bild. “It’s great that he’s visited us here.”

Over the summer Soto was the top goalscorer at the Slovakia Cup tournament while playing for the USMNT under-19 side. In March, his teammate Gloster agreed a deal to join Hannover from New York Red Bulls' academy following a two-week trial at the German club.

Click here for more Hannover news and features