Academy Alumni Matthew Hoppe Lights Up Preseason for Schalke U19s

Barca Residency Academy Alumni Matthew Hoppe warming up with FC Schalke 04 U-19s

Academy Alumni Matthew Hoppe Lights Up Preseason for Schalke U19s

 

August 16, 2019

11:15AM MDT

Kyle Kepner


CASA GRANDE, AZ (August 16, 2019)

It’s a new challenge in a new country for Matthew Hoppe, but the goals keep coming. The 2019 Barça Residency Academy graduate has impressed coaches and fans alike as he makes his mark on the Schalke 04 U19’s.

After a spectacular youth career capped by 58 goals in 61 matches for the Academy, Matthew signed with Schalke over the summer and has actually increased his pace.

The striker from Yorba Linda, Calif. has nine goals in eight preseason appearances for the Junioren of “Die Knappen,” including three goals and a Golden Boot at the recent Oberndorf tournament. His most recent strike was Schalke’s only tally in a 2-1 semifinal loss to eventual champions Midtjylland.

“It was a tough decision to have to sacrifice my eligibility and not go to college,” Hoppe recently told Travis Clark at topdrawersoccer.com. “But I think for my long-term soccer career it was the best decision to make… it’s a dream come true. I think that the opportunity to possibly be able to play in the Bundesliga, one of the best leagues in the world is an amazing thing.”

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Schalke is known for its willingness to bring in youngsters eager to take their shots. In Gelsenkirchen Hoppe joins fellow Americans Nick Taitague (U23) and Weston McKennie, already a rising star for the full USMNT. He also follows former New York Cosmos striker Haji Wright, who just last month left on a free transfer to Eredivisie side VVV-Venlo.

Schalke’s first team manager is the German-born former US international David Wagner.

On August 11, Hoppe made his league debut for the U19’s, going 62 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Borussia Mönchengladbach in the A-Junioren Bundesliga West. They’ll face DSC Arminia Bielefeld this Saturday, August 17.

Hoppe said to Top Drawer, “I feel like Barcelona has done a great job in preparing me and helping me know how to fit in at a European club and they’ve shown me a higher level, especially with my team and the level of practices that we have.”