Josh Gatt is not a player many American soccer fans have seen play, but he is already considered one of the best young Americans playing in Europe.
The speedy Michigan native has enjoyed an outstanding start to his professional career, going from 18-year-old newcomer to 20-year-old transfer target, having already made one upward move from Austrian club SCR Rheindorf Altach to Norwegian champions Molde.
Here is my recent Fox Soccer feature on Gatt, with some background on how he made it through a rough first year as a pro, as well as the story of how he convinced his father that soccer was the right sport for him.
Here are some more thoughts on Gatt:
He can play both as a right winger and as a right back. Gatt has played both for Molde, and U.S. Under-23 national team coach Caleb Porter has already begun taking a look at Gatt as a right back.
Gatt passed up a chance to play for Indiana University to chase his dream of becoming a professional soccer player. Some people question whether MLS dropped the ball on not identifying Gatt as a prospect. That is a silly way to look at Gatt's rise in Europe because the reality is he was a raw prospect when he got to Austria and eventually blossomed there. It isn't anybody's fault Gatt didn't wind up in MLS. He took a tremendous chance going pro, and flourished. Not many would have seen that coming, at least not this quickly.
Gatt has yet to be called by Jurgen Klinsmann, and it may be a while before that happens. Gatt is still just 20, and the focus for him at this point should be the U.S. Under-23 national team and Olympic team, assuming Molde releases Gatt for Olympic qualifying in March.
Does Gatt have a national team future? Absolutely, but rushing him to the senior team at this point might be a bit premature. He is still just 20, and working on his game. His time will come, just maybe not for the senior team for a while. That being said, U.S. fans have reason to be excited about such a fast and talented right winger.
Give the Fox Soccer story on Gatt a read and let us know what you think of Gatt's rapid rise.
Share your thoughts below.
Maybe Landon can visit Wayne Roony’s Nike training facility (see ‘Heir Club’ for Men) and extend his hair line and career and all three off them can play together…
Go to footytube and watch hoffenheim games from the beginning of the season. He takes players on like a champ and draws pk’s. I think he is the future of the midfield.
Yah, I was blown away by his technical ability in his 2 appearances for USMNT. He looks to also have pretty good size and strength and he must have pretty good wheels to play all over the field the way he does. I’m holding myself back a little since I’ve only seen him twice, but I don’t see any weaknesses that would hold him back.
A lot of players don’t have time to go back in history to discover who players are. They are too busy making it.
As versatile as Brek is you could really put him anywhere. He just needs to start scoring. He needs to develop more of a killer instinct like Dempsey has right now for him to be considered a target CF. I would love to see that happen. Probably be the one thing I want to see out of any player on the USMNT. Make it rain!
Brek Shea as a left back I think is not a good idea. If anything if we play with one forward put him in a central attacking role.
Tom, I’m glad someone realized that Fabian is one of the best players we have. Top 5 field (No GKs) players right now. If you were wondering I only rate Dempsey, Donovan, and maybe a big maybe Boca higher than him based on current club form. He isn’t even 100% back from injury yet and he just turned 24.
Womp Womp Findley was no where near the talent of these kids when he was their age. He probably isn’t now either.
I heard Gatt was slightly faster (see Ives last live chat transcript), though Gyau may be faster with the ball at his feet.
Ultimately, I think Klinsi would love to have the personnel to play a 4-3-3, so he would need speed at RM, RW, LW, and LM so with Gatt, Gyau, Shea, and Fabian, we could conceivably pull that off in a couple or three years. We’d have great width with that lineup. It would be fun to see if everyone continues to develop.
Ives has probably watch both up close more than any of us and he has been saying Gyau is faster on ball and Gatt is faster off ball. Leads me to believe Gyau would be more adaptable to the left. Also leads me to believe that if they were forced in to a 4-4-2 Gatt could be placed up top running off of a Target forward while Gyau would tend to be placed at outside mid.
Good points, GW. As long as Gatt continues as a winger under Solskjaer at Molde, I’m not really worried. But if he transferred to some bigger club and then got put in the back four, I’d feel a little disappointed.
Nice work, Ives. Just watched some youtube clips, and he does remind me of Donovan a bit. Small, quick, direct, and comfortable on the ball. looks like he can play
Cheers to that! I thought I would just stir the pot a little. Maybe turn Brek in to a left back if he doesn’t start to score. Have a 3 front of Gatt, Jozy/Boyd, and Gyau in 2018.
I think the better question is, who is more adaptable to the left side?
Word is Gyau is faster, but Gatt is bigger and less likely to get pushed around by beefy defenders. That’s pretty important in CONCACAF where bad fouls on USMNT forwards rarely draw the cards/PKs they deserve.
Great article, Ives. I like this sort of human interest type genre on our younger players. I would love to see more of this on SBI/Fox Soccer.
This is true, but they do have one of those types of videos for him from a league game, I believe.
If you are going to judge Gatt by a couple of scrimmages where Shea lit him up, then it is worth remembering Shea himself looked completely out of place in his US game against Colombia.
Not many clips to work with though. It’s all about the “every touch” type videos to really see what a player is like.
With raw young players such as Gatt, it is a good idea to play him in a variety of positions.
This forces him to develop a wider array of skills. It also broadens his tactical vision of the game. Learning how to defend against a winger will make him a better winger.
Also, while we currently have an array of options at right back, two years to the World Cup is an eternity in soccer and you don’t know how the picture will look in 2014.
Look up his highlights and you won’t have to ask these questions to strangers on the internet. Youtube is your best friend, and you can develop your own answers to the questions you just asked. Good luck.
really good article!
Wow, the ol’ Lichaj – Bale spectrum. 🙂
Yeah I saw that statement also and wondered what kind of player he is if he didn’t know who Solskjaer was. But looked at his age and Gatt would have been a toddler when Ole was playing.
So for those who have seen Gatt play, is he
better than Lichaj but not good yet as Gareth Bale? Does he have any technical ability other than pushing the ball to the side and outrun the player ? What about this touch or vision ?
The article tells you everything about a player but how he plays…
Wow, I’m surprised that he didn’t know who Solskjaer was until Solskjaer became his coach. I guess I’m older than I thought…
Don’t worry about that, he was something of a mess against Shea as a right back with the Olympic team. In time, he might develop into a solid option, but for right now, he’s a winger.
that is funny. kudos.
I know Donovan is balding but I don’t think he wants Gatt as a hair piece. lol
You could argue that Brek Shea (aka Blondie McMullet) is being developed for a winger position (ether side) as we speak, but to have three or four candidates ready to rock in each position is the ultimate goal, so I agree with the notion that the need is more pressing on the wing, especially since Bedoya seems to have gone missing at the moment.
Gatt Vs. Gyau? Who says they can’t both be THE Man? Gatt could be the hair to Donovan…speedy wing who likes to attack and score. Gyau could be the same on the Left, but potentially with more guile. Here’s hoping they both continue to develop into they players we all hope they will be…Fast, Technical, Dangerious attacking players with a long glorious future
Findley is wicked fast, so long as there is no ball at his feet. Gatt is exceptionally fast WITH a ball at his feet. Love what i see of Gyau — perhaps Gatt offers more position versatility?
“He can play both as a right winger and as a right back. Gatt has played both for Molden, and U.S. Under-23 national team coach Caleb Porter has already begun taking a look at Gatt as a right back.”
I really hope that he develops as a right winger rather than a right back. We are looking pretty good at right back at the moment: Chandler, Lichaj, Cherundolo (in the immediate future), and Williams are all in the right back frame. But outside of Donovan we don’t really have a true right winger who can do the kinds of things Gatt did for Molde in those Youtube clips.
I heard Findley was fast.
Who is better, Gatt or Gyau? I don’t care about who is faster. Both are incredibly fast. But which one will be THE man?