5 Young Dual Nationals In Europe The U.S. Needs To Lock Down ASAP
When the USMNT lost Jonathan Gonzalez to Mexico, it highlighted a disconnect between U.S. Soccer and the Latino community. It’s an issue that desperately needs to be fixed. But while the U.S. focuses on keeping Mexican dual nationals stateside, they can’t forget about the European-based dual nationals who are eligible to represent multiple countries at the senior level. In particular, five young Americans abroad need to be locked down to ensure they play for the USMNT.
Some of these players will be easy to retain, players who have made it clear they want to represent the Red, White and Blue. (Then again, that’s what U.S. Soccer thought about Gonzalez.) Others on this list will be more difficult to persuade to play for the U.S., especially with no World Cup to offer this summer.
These are the five young Americans abroad with dual nationalities the next USMNT coach needs to convince to play for the U.S.
We’ll start with the easiest one first. Carter-Vickers, whose father was an American basketball player who played in England, already has one USMNT appearance, but it came in a friendly, meaning he’s not yet cap-tied. It’s likely the 20-year-old Tottenham defender (currently on loan with Ipswich town) will become cap-tied, but it could take a while since the U.S. doesn’t have any meaningful matches anytime soon.
Siebatcheu was born in Washington, D.C., but grew up in France, joining the Stade de Reims academy as a 7-year-old. The 21-year-old striker is currently tearing it up in France’s Ligue 2 with Reims, tallying 12 goals and six assists in 22 appearances. Last season he tallied 10 goals in 15 appearances on loan with LB Châteauroux. He’s also scored against PSG. Siebatcheu has appeared a couple times for the French U-21 squad, but he’s also eligible to play for Cameroon or the U.S.
Born in Nuremburg, the 19-year-old attacking midfielder joined Bayern Munich in 2015 and has represented Germany since the U-15 level. However, he is looking to switch to the U.S., country of his father’s birth, and could appear at a U-20 camp in March, though it's unclear if he's filed the paperwork to play for the USMNT yet. Tillman hasn’t made a Bundesliga appearance with the senior squad, but he was on the substitute’s bench for Bayern’s DFL Supercup win over Dortmund in August. Barcelona and Real Madrid have expressed interest in the youngster. Timothy’s younger brother Malik, another Bayern youth player, could also switch allegiances to the U.S.
Dest, a 17-year-old defender, grew up in the Netherlands but impressed recently for the U.S. at the U-17 World Cup. Currently playing for the Ajax U-19 squad, the son of a New Yorker hasn’t received much interest from the Dutch national team, but the U.S. would do well to ensure he sticks with the Yanks if he keeps progressing. And being at Ajax, it’s likely he’ll continue to improve.
We saved the hardest one for last. Toljan, who’s beginning to get more and more playing time in the Bundesliga under new coach Peter Stoger, has previously rebuffed attempts from the U.S. to lure the Stuttgart-born right back. Toljan appeared for the Germany U-17, U-19, U-20, U-21 and Olympic teams, but with the likes of Joshua Kimmich, Jonas Hector, Philipp Max and Marvin Plattenhardt all ahead of him, the 23-year-old could be convinced to make a switch.