<
>

Europe is recognising football talents developed in U.S. - Schalke's Jobst

GELSENKIRCHEN -- The work done in U.S. football's youth academies allows European clubs to polish talents developed in the United States, Schalke executive Alexander Jobst has told ESPN FC.

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Christian Pulisic impressed for the U.S. in their recent win against Honduras, scoring one and setting up two to take his club form to the international stage.

U.S. manager Bruce Arena told reporters that while Dortmund deserved "a lot of the credit" for developing Pulisic, the U.S. player development system merited plaudits as well.

Schalke have signed three U.S. youth internationals -- Haji Wright, Weston McKennie and Nic Taitague -- for their Knappenschmiede youth academy.

And speaking to ESPN FC, Jobst said: "Similar to Germany at the turn of the century, U.S. soccer has restructured its youth concept in recent years.

"Also through Jurgen Klinsmann's efforts, the European market has realised there is a growing number of talents with the necessary skills who want to make it in Europe.

"American soccer still can't be compared with European football, and that's why a growing number of young U.S. players are gaining a foothold in the two upper German leagues."

Midfielder McKennie, 18, said the reputation of the Schalke academy had persuaded him to move to Europe.

"I heard about coach Norbert Elgert, and his history of developing players for the first team -- Leroy Sane, for instance, going overseas to Man City, Max Meyer coming through the academy, Benedikt Howedes, Manuel Neuer, Julian Draxler," he said.

"They are all names that we see on TV these days. I believed it was a better opportunity to get to my goals to become a professional player over here."