U.S. Youth National Teams

U-17 USMNT midfielder Koreniuk signs pro contract with Vitesse

KaiKoreniukVitesse2 (Vitesse)


Kai Koreniuk has parlayed a strong season with Vitesse Arnheim’s academy into a professional contract with the club.

The Under-17 U.S. Men’s National Team forward, who holds dual citizenship with the Netherlands and the USA, penned a three-year deal with Vitesse on Friday, just around a year after joining the club following a successful trial. The 16-year-old was born and raised in Florida, living in Ormond Beach, Fla. most recently, but thanks to his Dutch mother, was able to bypass FIFA regulations and sign a contract in Europe earlier than most Americans could.

“This is my second year at Vitesse and I want to perform as well as possible,” Koreniuk said in a statement on Vitesse’s website. “I would certainly hope to get twenty goals and finish in the top three in the Under-17 league.”

Last season, Koreniuk began with the Vitesse U-16s before being promoted to the U-17s, scoring a total of 15 goals between the two sides, according to the club. In an interview with the Orlando Sentinel, Koreniuk said he hoped to play this coming season again with the U-17s and possibly move up to the U-19s and reserves in the future.

Koreniuk most recently played with the U-17 USMNT at the Open Nordic Cup, where he scored his first goal for his country. The U.S. finished in sixth place following a 4-3 defeat to Finland. Koreniuk was also called up by Holland’s U-16s for a training camp last winter.


What do you think of this news? Glad to see Koreniuk latch on to a European club? Do you expect him to continue to play with U.S. youth squads?

Share your thoughts below.

  • AMP

    wth is a vitesse, and where is arnhem? i know already, but it would be nice if this article gave a little more context. koreniuk was called up by the dutch u-16, but did he attend the camp?


  • Increase0

    We have soooo many dual nationals… It seems common in soccer in general. It’s kinda bizarre really.


    • USA#1

      But this one is going in the other direction, which seems like a conundrum for the “not American enough” crowd. The Dutch are calling up a kid who is as American as apple pie – born and raised in Florida. Yet I doubt there is a lot of hand-wringing in the Netherlands about him not being sufficiently Dutch.


      • Double

        Some will some won’t.There is a huge difference between bringing in a player you helped develop and bringing a player that has never kicked a soccer ball in the county they’re representing.
        There is also a huge difference between bringing one or two of them and bringing 8 or 10 of them to the world cup.


      • kevino

        what’s the conundrum? why would the dutch care, he’s not signing a contract with their national team?


      • USA#1

        Reading the article. He has been called up to the Netherlands U-16 team.


    • BostonRed

      Well, having an EU passport puts you in the limelight and gets you plenty of attention. We notice our duals more because many of them take this route and are a bit “exotic.”


    • beto

      world, esp our nation, is very globalized…

      have to wonder how many duel-national or Americans living abroad ‘potential national team quality’ players were out there over the years that USSF never knew about and just now have the funds to keep tabs on all of these players.


      • Increase0

        Oh its globalized it just seems like dual nationals through refugee status, parents, or moving when young(under 10) is very common with players.

        It’s not really that immigrants are poor really and see it as a way out or a way of integrating with society.. Mix for example. I just find it odd.


  • SingularityCup

    Kai is about to get many more call-ups for the US U-17’s with Joe Gallardo getting his leg broken at the Copa Naciones tournament.


  • onlyagame

    This is great. And nice news. There should be more Americans abroad coverage, more investigative jornos. Good info
    one of the bedt pieces read wss by Leander Scherlaekens on the working s of loans. Theres so many factors to a move abroad that mire coverage is goid. More coverage of junior zmericans and their progress snd reserve leagues pls.


    • Joamiq

      Before this recent callup, he said he always wanted to play for the US and didn’t understand why the US hadn’t contacted him when the Netherlands had.


  • bryan

    glad to the US finally got him into a camp. hopefully he continues to develop there and can meet his goals.


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