102317_ap_sargentjosh_ap_17279547583134 Associated Press
Friday kickoff

Tillmann, McKennie, Sargent highlight the weekend news

Jonathan Gonzalez is gone but Timothy Tillman might be arriving. Meanwhile Weston McKennie played yesterday in central defense and Josh Sargent is training with Werder Bremen's first team. Here's a look at the news as the week ends. 
BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
January 12, 2018
4:30 AM
THE WEEKEND IS FINALLY HERE, January camp is underway, MLS preseasons are approaching, and we end the week with some more interesting news among American youngsters in Germany.

Tillmann to switch to the U.S. team?

Yesterday, Goal reported in an interview with United States U-20 head coach Tab Ramos Bayern Munich youth product Timothy Tillman was going to switch his allegiance an represent the United States. After playing with Germany’s U-19 team in a UEFA tournament, Tillmann would need to file a one-time switch to play with the U.S. full national team or a youth national team in an official competition.

If Tillman is going to play for the U.S. U-20 team for the time being, there is little hurry to file a one-time switch. Tillmann, 19, is an attacking player who can play forward or out on the wing. At times, he has shown himself to be a top prospect.

Given that Tillman has not played first team soccer, it is unclear how significant a pickup this is. It could be huge like John Brooks. Or it could fizzle like Julian Green, Fabian Hurzeler, or even the Parker brothers who were targets of the U.S. team but crumbled so quickly that the U.S. lost interest completely.

Either way, it is good for the U.S. team to open its doors for Tillmann and the potential is there for this to be a significant pickup.

Mckennie in central defense?

Bundesliga teams are currently involved in winter camps right now ahead of the second half of the season. Yesterday, Schalke took on Genk in a friendly and American Weston McKennie actually played in the second half in central defense.

It is an interesting development and McKennie’s smooth passing and strong build could help Schalke in that position. For the U.S. team, it would be bad news. After the loss of Jonathan Gonzalez, McKennie is the top young central midfielder right now. The U.S. team needs McKennie to be playing this position to be of most use. The U.S. player pool is in solid shape at the moment without McKennie.

Sargent to train with Werder Bremen first team

Now in Germany training with Werder Bremen, Josh Sargent is off to a fast start at his new club. Earlier this week he picked up an assist for Werder Bremen’s U-23 team in a friendly. Now in winter camp, he will be training with the club’s first team.

Sargent, 17, cannot play in official games until his 18th birthday in February but all signs point to him doing very well at the start of his European career.

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