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Report: Freiburg, MLS clubs chasing USMNT U-23 forward Soto

Sebastian Soto has struggled for playing time this domestic season with German 2. Bundesliga side Hannover, but it reportedly hasn’t stopped some teams from chasing the young forward.

Soto has been linked with both Bundesliga side Freiburg as well as some MLS clubs, according to German outlet Bild. In addition, several teams from the Dutch Eredivisie are also considering Soto, who has yet to find his mark with the first team at Hannover.

The 19-year-old made the move to Germany from Real Salt Lake’s Academy in July 2018 and has moved quickly up the ranks. Beginning with Hannover’s Under-19 side, Soto exploded for 17 goals and six assists in 24 matches, earning him promotion to the Under-23 side in the same season.

However, Soto has yet to find the back of the net in eight combined appearances between Hannover’s first and second teams, which included a trio of Bundesliga cameos in 2019.

Not only has Soto moved up domestically, but also within U.S. Soccer over the years. Soto scored four goals in five appearances in the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, helping the Americans to a third-consecutive quarterfinals appearance.

He’s also scored once in two appearances for the Under-23 team and was expected to be included in Jason Kreis’ Olympic Qualifying roster prior to the postponement of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Soto was previously being scouted by both Borussia Dortmund and Hoffenheim in 2019, but neither move materialized.

Soto is one of many young Americans trying to improve their game in Germany, joining fellow youngsters Ulysses Llanez (Wolfsburg), Chris Richards (Bayern Munich), Taylor Booth (Bayern Munich), and Brady Scott (Cologne).

With Soto failing to grab consistent playing time in the German second tier this campaign, a move away from Hannover could be the right move for him going forward.

Freiburg is currently eighth in the Bundesliga this season, earning 36 points from 25 matches so far. There is no timetable for the resumption of the league season with the ongoing Coronavirus epidemic still impacting several areas around the world.


  1. from all the sources i’ve read, this is the general gist i’m getting:
    last summer, Team Soto didn’t accept the contract extension terms they were offered and made it clear they’d wait out free agency if Hannover weren’t going to sell Soto.
    I get the feeling it wasn’t handled well by either side-
    and lead to something of a lame duck in a poisoned well situation for Sebastian.
    I hope his agent knows what he’s doing because they basically burned a whole season.

    • Did you see the yahoo interview with Berhalter: said Cardosa and Gioacchini were in line for March camp before the shutdown.

      • yeah! that’s encouraging. not all that familiar with Johnny Cardoso’s game but i’ve been tracking and pimping Gioacchini for a while.
        good to know he’s on Gregg’s radar.

  2. Most fans want to see him leave 96! I agree! He didn’t want to sign an extension. The club took it as a sign of disrespect and his playing time suffered. I’m glad this isn’t the 90s, or early 2000s. Soto is def one of the talented players in his birth year, and has the mobility to move to a bigger club. Decades ago, this wouldn’t have happened to the teenage American player, he would’ve came back to the MLS, without another European league calling. In case, you don’t know what I’m talking about… Europe thought our players were trash.

    • Disrespect? It’s business. Why play someone u basically can’t sell who plans on leaving your team. Keep him as a backup in case of an injury crisis or if he blew the doors off when he played u may recoup something. He hasn’t blown doors off, and u aren’t giving time to someone who hasn’t and is leaving in a year. Other teams can just wait, and so can H96. Anyone who thinks he had value is looking through USMNT rose colored glasses.
      Of course, if this was an MLS team, we would hear the moron parade about how stupid, selfish, petty they r…blah, blah, blah. This doesn’t happen in Europe.

      • Soto still costs them money, salary, expenses, etc. by keeping him they will get no return, if they had sold him at least they would have gotten something back.

      • There are several articles about Soto & his camp and 96s contract negotiations. You’ve already volunteered information about your self and what type of work you do. I know you’re older than me. Today, the American futbol player has more value than ever before, especially’00-‘01 birth years. Do you even watch this age group? It’s not about my perspective, but what actually happened to his playing time after negotiations broke down. Chris Gloster & Soto came to the club in the same year. Where is Gloster, now?! Eredivisie earning playing time. You don’t go to play in the Bundesliga from a MLS academy, if you don’t have value. Soto is a forward, a goal scorer. What position is the highest value? What position gets paid the most?

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