Ulysses Llanez will reportedly become the latest American player to begin training with a Bundesliga first team.
Llanez will join Wolfsburg’s first team this coming week for training, German outlet Kicker reported on Sunday. The U.S. Men’s National Team forward has mainly featured for Wolfsburg’s Under-19 team this campaign and is currently out of game action due to the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic hitting around the globe.
He was added to the team’s Europa League roster back in early February, but has not dressed yet for Oliver Glasner’s squad.
The 18-year-old California native has made 16 appearances for Wolfsburg’s U-19 side, scoring 11 goals and registering six assists in just over 1,200 minutes of action. Llanez has yet to feature for Wolfsburg II, but will be given the chance to hopefully make his senior debut for the club if the Bundesliga season finishes.
Llanez’s career began within the L.A. Galaxy Academy in 2017 before moving to Wolfsburg in July 2019. He joined both John Brooks and Michael Edwards who are also at Wolfsburg, with Brooks starting regularly for the first team. Edwards has mainly featured for the Under-23 team.
After working his way through the ranks of U.S. Soccer, Llanez made his senior debut for Gregg Berhalter’s side in a 1-0 friendly win over Costa Rica in January. He scored the lone goal of the match, scoring from the penalty spot at Dignity Health Sports Park in Los Angeles and putting in a Man of the Match performance.
Most of his international appearances at the youth level came with the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team, scoring seven goals in 13 appearances. He appeared in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Poland, helping the U.S. reach the quarterfinals for a third-consecutive time.
He was expected to be a part of the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team, who were originally scheduled to begin 2020 Olympic Qualifying this month in Guadalajara, Mexico. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 issues, the tournament was postponed with no date yet announced for its return.
The Bundesliga season was postponed until at least April 1st, but there has been no definite decision made yet if the season will resume. Wolfsburg are currently seventh in the league table, one point out of the final Europa League playoff spot.
“As long as this is not canceled, we have to accept it,” Wolfsburg Managing Director of Sport Jorg Schmadtke said. “We will keep the distances. First of all training will take place in four small groups in the weight room, four cabins are available, four different shower rooms, which will continue to be disinfected after each use.”
They also remain in this season’s Europa League, currently down 2-1 on aggregate against Ukrainian side Shakhtar Donetsk in the Round of 16. That competition has also been put on hold for the time being.