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- DOB September 16, 1992
- Age 20
- Place of birth Tampa, Florida
- POSITION Midfielder
- HEIGHT 5'6"
- WEIGHT 155
- U.S. CAPS 0
- CLUB St. Pauli
- TWITTER @JoeGyau36 (3.07K followers)
- ASN 100 Rank 66
- Previous ASN 100 Rank 71
Soccer blood runs through Joe Gyau's veins. His grandfather played for the Ghana national team and Joe's father, Philip, earned six caps for the United States in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The youngest member of the clan is fast, strong, and skilled. (Joe’s father used his connections to get Joe training in Brazil when he was younger.) But Gyau also played a key role on the U-20 and U-23 teams that failed to qualify for the World Cup. He's young and talented, but needs to learn to win.
Gyau exploded on to the American youth scene as a U-17 prospect, displaying a combination of speed, strength, and skill rarely seen in Americans at that age. Gyau drew interest from Europe, eventually signing in 2009 with Hoffenheim, a German club known for transforming raw talent into finished products. Gyau suffered a few setbacks but worked his way onto the first team bench (and into a game) during the second half of the 2011-2012 season. Fellow Americans Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams play for Hoffenheim, but Gyau took a loan deal to St. Pauli in August 2012 in search of time.
At the youth level, Gyau made Thomas Rongen's U-20 roster for the 2011 CONCACAF Championship in Guatemala and started twice. A knee injury limited his effectiveness, however, as Gyau did not display the overpowering athleticism on the flank. He also looked a bit lost at the U-23 level during the U.S.'s failed Olympic qualifying attempt, where he was used as a late sub and seemed content to run at defenders with little plan of attack.
Gyau needs time at St. Pauli or elsewhere before he's ready for the full national team. But he's happy just to be suiting up on any level. "It's great to follow in my father’s footsteps and play on the national team," Gyau told The New York Times. "He has taught me everything I know, from juggling the ball to dribbling to passing."
Soccer, after all, is in his blood.—NOAH DAVIS
Noteworthy ReadsGyau Set for Hoffenheim Debut (NYTimes.com)
Gyau Confident Ahead of Preseason (Yanks Abroad)