U.S. Men's Olympic Team

Stanko inks first professional deal with SC Freiburg

Soccer - International Soccer - FIFA U-20 World Cup Turkey 2013 - Group stage - Group A - Ghana v USA

Photo by ISIPhotos.com


Former U.S. Under-20 midfielder Caleb Stanko signed his first professional contract with Bundesliga side SC Freiburg on Wednesday.

Stanko enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2013/2014 with Freiburg II in the Regionalliga, starting 30 times in 31 games and scoring two goals along with four yellow cards. Since joining the club in August 2011, Stanko has made 49 appearances at midfielder and centerback with the SC Freiburg II in Germany’s fourth division.

SC Freiburg declined to reveal details of the contract.

“Caleb Stanko is a flexible midfielder who likes to get stuck in, which can always cause surprising moments in the game,” sporting director Jochen Saier said on Freiburg’s website. “We are very pleased that another talent from the Freiburg youth academy is in the next step of his career with us.”

Stanko had a brief stint with the first team in March after getting his first call up prior to a league match against Werder Bremen. 

“I have been training with the first team from the end of the season and I am already looking forward to the preparation for the new season,” Stanko told Freiburg’s website. “With the professional contract with SC Freiburg, I have achieved a great goal and I’m sure I will develop here as a soccer player in Freiburg even further.”

The 20-year-old Michigan native represented the United States in the 2013 Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, and is expected to make a splash with the U-23 team in Olympic Qualifying in 2016.


Do you see Stanko getting consistent Bundesliga time next season? Will he be critical to the United State’s Olympic success? Let us know in the comments below.

  • Benjamin C.

    Bravo to the young man. Keep working hard, keep improving everyday, and good things will come. A number of exciting young American midfielders coming up through the ranks right now, both in MLS and abroad.


  • Charles

    This is exactly what we need in America. Young footballers playing in Germany, Spain or Italy. Forget about the others.


    • Chris

      Forget about Gil, Arriola, Trapp, Allen, Acosta, Spencer, Pfeffer? hahahaha no


      • Morty

        Thank you, Chris. Seems as if Chuck took too many close -minded pills again this morning.


    • JayAre

      I don’t know too much about Stanko but the positions he plays in his age group are kind of deep right now. CB Brooks, Packwood, Zimmerman….. CM Trap Joya Gil Allen Asocta


      • The Other Jeff

        Need 10 “can’t miss” prospects in order to not miss.


      • bryan

        Stanko is considered a top prospect at CDM in his age group. easily on the same level as the guys you listed. he played a big role at the U-20 WC at CB despite being a CDM. granted, O’Neill actually showed better and should be in this conversation as well when talking CBs.

        we have a lot of potentially good CM and CB options coming up. it’s exciting!


  • Micahel

    This kid is a heck of a player. Played club with him when I was 16 and was terrified of him. Props.


  • Lost in Space

    Another quality prospect for the US. As those players from this past U-20 & U-23 cycles develop with their clubs the stronger & deeper the USMNT player pool will be for the 2018 WC.
    GK: Cropper,….Johnson, Hamid, Clark…..Guzan
    CB: Brooks, Packwood, O’Neal, Stanko, Zimmerman….Okugo, Berry…..Gonzalez, Besler
    Wide Def: Yedlin, Klute,….Chandler, Lichaj,….Johnson
    CDM: Trapp, Stanko, Okugo,…..Williams, Diskerud, Powers, Kitchen, …..Bradley
    CAM: Gil, Joya,….Powers, Diskerud
    Wingers: Green, Gyau, Gatt…..Shea….Zusi, Bedoya
    Strikers: Rubin, …Agudelo, Boyd, Johannsson….Jozy

    There is a lot of skill, Speed, and ability with all these guys. Will be a fun ride to watch these guys grow and come together after 2015/2016.


    • The Other Jeff

      What do the players on this team have in common?

      FJ Omar JAB Chandler/Yedlin
      Green MB Mix Corona
      Altidore Johannson/Boyd

      All are in the current camp, and all but Guzan will be 30 or under in 2018 (Guzan will be 33 which is prime for a GK).


      • Ali Dia

        Hmmm… interesting first cut, OJ (sorry). I think what it tells me, more than anything, is that there is absolutely no doubt that MB will be the next captain — this is not earth-shattering I know, but if he isn’t our most important guy now, one look at this tells the story for years to come.

        This is ok in the sense that MB is tailor-made for it, but I also wish I could look at this list and see 2-3 (or more) clear leaders to share this burden, as we have always had in the past. Probably these guys will emerge, but I right now can’t pick anybody out (besides Guzan, who as you mentioned is the senior guy) who has demonstrated obvious captain-type leadership qualities thus far. Stanko may be one such guy for the future.

        For my part, I am REALLY hoping this is something we see out of Besler this summer (he just misses the U-30 criteria you have set out). He is the only consensus starter in our back four (even this could change)…. I don’t watch enough of him at the club level to say one way or the other if it is in his “DNA”, but maybe somebody knows.


      • Lost in Space

        Besler (at times) has been a leader/captain for his club. Powers is a leadership type of guy….just needs a few more seasons under his belt. Fabian, if healthy, has the ability to be a leadership guy as well (esp with the number of German-Americans on the team).
        Have to hope a few more develop that skill set over the course of time with their clubs & the national team.


    • beto

      All kinds of depth in the future; now we just need some big time difference makers

      This kid looks to be a solid player in the few u20 games i have seen


    • "The TX 2 Stepper"

      What about Corona, Alfredo Morales, Pelosi, the kid at West Ham, Greg Garza, the other Mexican American yanks, the tall kid playing striker in Vancouver and …



      • Lost in Space

        Always knew there would be a few names I’d miss…Corona, Pelosi, should be in the mix for 2018. There are a few names in MLS who’ll raise their stock (maybe Nagbe, Acosta, DeLeon, Hedges, Schuler, etc….). Players in Liga Mex like Arriola & Cuevas the same.
        Then there will be the other duel nationals to consider….Homes, Canhouse, Senora, Scott, Gooch, Gall, the kid w/ Arsenal, etc…
        Point being the depth and skill level is getting better and better. We may actually get to the point where we are less dependent on a handful of players and be able to have multiple players of skill & experience to choose from. The split squads/camps we’ve seen this year (European & N. American) may be used more often in order to better evaluate the depth filtering into the pool.


    • bryan

      Corona, Arriola, Garza, M. Lopez, Villarreal, Zardes, Nagbe, Cuevas, etc. the list is pretty fantastic. our odds look pretty good for at least a handful of these guys to turn into solid players.


  • Mikey K

    Him and Bradley in the middle would be deadly. And if he plays wing he can be a replacement when Donovan retires.


    • jmadsen

      “He” and Bradley. You got it right the second and third times, why not the first?

      — “No one expects the Grammar Nazi!”


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