U.S. Under-20 National Team

Haji Wright scores four goals for Schalke in preseason match

It only took 15 minutes to justify Haji Wright’s move to Schalke’s senior team.

The 19-year-old American scored four goals in 15 minutes in Saturday’s, 9-1, rout against second-tier side Erkenschwick. Wright’s hat-trick plus one comes in the U.S. U-19’s first minutes with the first-team, two months after debuting on Domenico Tedesco’s bench against FC Ingolstadt in Bundesliga play.

The former New York Cosmos forward was promoted to Schalke’s first-team in May after a year with their U-19 side. Wright has capped for the U.S. in four different age levels, most recently for Brad Friedel’s U-19.

Schalke is currently prepping for the 2017/18 season with a set of preseason tune-ups scheduled for the remainder of the month, presenting opportunities for Wright to showcase his worth.

  • Gary Page

    Maybe he should be called in for the Gold Cup knockout stage. As badly as the US played, maybe he could help. (I jest, but only a little given how bad the US looked against Panama).


    • Joe Dirt

      Since we are using this GC for buliding depth and development, I think it would have made sense to bring in some of the youth guys in Europe who probably have higher ceilings. I think we are wasting minutes this GC that could be going to others.

      I also think based on the 24 brought in that MLS execs had significant influence in deciding who got called in. Just way too much MLS in this roster it seems.


      • Ronniet

        Bringing in younger options just because they seem to have a higher ceiling sounds good theory, but the reality is if you take the likes of Wright, McKinnie, Hyndman, Green, etc from their club teams to play in a lesser GC you run the risk of them missing the opportunity to establish themselves with their club teams in preseason. Although Zusi, Bedoya and others continue to show they are less and less worth being called into anything US National Team, you still would rather the “kids” stay with their clubs to gain momentum for the regular season. Getting minutes in the regular season with your club is what will get the attention of Arena and his staff one year out from Russia


      • Big Red

        Totally agree with bringing these guys in. Their club teams notice when they lead their national team to a major international trophy. Escpecially when they do very well. It is a huge mistake to play over the hill MLS players in these tourneys. This is how we continue to get force feeding of Michael Bradley where the coach keeps trying to find a back up instead a new starter. Positions aren’t permanent for four years!!!!


    • Javier

      Forget the Gold Cup, he’s good enough to play for Bayern’s first team after scoring these four goals against a 6th division side!

      Jeez, how quickly some of you fans turn on the national team after a mediocre performance is astounding. Let’s give these guys a chance.


    • Big Red

      If Haji were to win the Golden Boot in the Gold Cup, that would boost his stock not only with Schalke but around the world. Much better opportunity to play in an international tourney than on the preseason squad. The cream usually rises and talent is undeniable when it is developed. Gold Cup is higher level than against some 2nd and 3rd tier German Clubs.


      • KenC

        “Gold Cup is higher level than against some 2nd and 3rd tier German Clubs.”



      • johnnyrazor

        Sorry that’s untrue, Schalke wants its players training with their methods under their medical staff in matches they are watching in person. They don’t care what Haji Wright might do against Panama or Martinique. Euro clubs might be impressed by a player doing well in the GC and bring them in for a trial, but they do not want their signed players playing in this tournament.


  • Jayboy

    Just as a reminder, Julian Green had like 10 preseason goals for Bayern 12 months ago… Let’s file this under “cool but meaningless.”


    • SoccerDadinCali

      If Haji Wright had other options on the international stage, he could have used this scoring outburst to negotiate a deal for a roster spot for the USMNT for the World Cup in 2018.

      Timing is everything…


  • johnnyrazor

    The team he was playing against was relegated to the 6th division for this season, scoring a bunch of goals against them doesn’t prove him worthy to play for Schalke or USMNT.


  • bottlcaps

    Erkenschwick is in the 5th tier of German football,not the 2nd as the article states. The team plays in a regional, not nationwide league. So it would be like and MLS team playing a local JC team.

    Hardly worth writing home about.


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