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Haji Wright to train with Schalke U-23s after starting preseason with first team

Haji Wright had his moments throughout Schalke’s preseason, but the American forward’s next step will come away from the club’s senior team.

Schalke announced that Wright is set to train with the club’s U-23 team after beginning preseason with the first team squad. Wright had been with Schalke’s senior group for the first four games of preseason with his standout performance coming via a four-goal performance in a 9-1 win over fifth division side SpVgg Erkenschwick. Wright joined the team for the ensuing trip to China, but did not do enough to earn a first team spot.

Unable to return to the U-19 group, Wright is now a prime candidate for a loan deal away from the Bundesliga club. Schalke’s U-23 team plays in the fifth division of German soccer, a level that is likely far below one required for Wright’s development.

Fellow American Weston McKennie remains with the Schalke first team as the club heads to Austria to continue preseason.

16 comments
    • wychijeff

      What are your doubts? They aren’t giving Haji a free pass to the first team, nor would you expect them to. Simply,you have to better than the guy next to you, and if you are not, then you get sent down to get some more seasoning.

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  • I scored three goals in one game

    A loan would be good for him, would like to see him in the evedivisie

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      • johnnyrazor

        I think he means when the season begins in mid-Augst not this week.

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    • johnnyrazor

      That’s been hinted at as the plan all along. I wouldn’t say it’s a done deal, Schalke took 30 players to China, they are bringing four players who had been on vacation due to Summer tournaments and subtracted 3 including Wright, so they are still well above a game day roster number. Two of those were regular midfielders for them last season, so his playing time may decrease. They gave him #2 though so that would seem an indication they expect him to be on the roster.

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  • johnnyrazor

    German U21 Felix Platte, missed the China trip to recover from the UEFA U21 Championships, so this seems a one for one. Platte saw some time with Darmstadt on loan last year, so he would seem to be ahead of where Haji is at this time. Schalke has been pretty clear they thought Haji still had some development to do before he joined the first team regularly.

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  • Schalkamerica

    If he stays at Schalke does he still have a good shot at a debut this year? Would it be better to try to fight into the first team at Schalke or go out on loan? Im not fond of players going on loans cause I feel like we never see these loaned out players become significant to the team that loaned them.

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    • johnnyrazor

      Hard to say if he’s ready for that yet. As Schalkeamerica said above we don’t want him to be loaned and then just sit. Gaines has seen his playing time diminished as they face higher level opponents this preseason as well. It’s too bad Schalke II got relegated because the 4th division would have been ok at least until January, not sure about the 5th.

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      • LouisZ

        5th div. is too easy for him. He scored 4 goals in 18 minutes when faced a 5th division team.

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      • johnnyrazor

        I believe they were relegated to the 6th Division, so they probably unloaded all their high priced talent. That was a joke.

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