Top Stories

USMNT forward Llanez promoted to Wolfsburg first team

Ulysses Llanez’s rapid rise through the ranks at German Bundesliga side Wolfsburg has continued despite the current break in the season.

Llanez will join Wolfsburg’s first team as the team continues to wait for the resumption of the Bundesliga season. The U.S. Men’s National Team forward has mainly featured for Wolfsburg’s Under-19 team this campaign, impressing for most of the season.

“Ulysses is clear in his actions, strong in one-on-one situations and finishes very well,” Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schäfer said to German outlet Kicker.

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.

“He’s developing well but there’s still a few things he can improve,” Wolfsburg U-19 head coach Pablo Thiam said. “But we want to show him we have a vision for him. What he’s shown with the U-19s he now needs to show in first-team training.”

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, both the Qualifying tournament and Tokyo Olympics were postponed until 2021.

Wolfsburg have returned to training, but under strict safety conditions as a decision on the season has yet to be made. The club is currently seventh in the Bundesliga table with 11 matches remaining.




  1. I can’t wait for the sport to begin again. I try not to get carried away, but we seem to have an abundance of youth talent. If our young players stay healthy and continue to develop, we could be a top 10 team in 4 or 5 years. And guys like Llanez, Pulisic Reyna, and
    Adams could be world class

    • IF our youth players continue their current trajectory the USMNT will be nearly unrecognizable in 4 years from what it is now. We’ll still be a young team, considering the average age of the team will be Under 25 years old, but we’ll have some serious talent.

      Strikers: Sargent (24) @ Bremen,
      Attackers: Pulisic (25) @ Chelsea, Weah (24) @ Lille, Reyna (21) @ BvB,
      Ledezma (23) @ PSV, Llanez (23) Wolfsburg
      Center Mid: McKennie (25) @ Schalke, Adams (25) @ RB, Cappis (24) @ TBD
      Left Back: A. Robinson (26) @ TBD, Gloster (23) @ PSV
      Center Back: Richards (24) @ Bayern, Miazga (28) @ TBD, M. Robinson (27) @ TBD,
      CCV (26) @ TBD
      Right Back: Dest (23) @ Ajax, Cannon (25) @ TBD
      Keeper: Steffen (29) @ TBD, Horvath (28) @ TBD,

      We’re still looking thin at Striker and there is still plenty of questions as to what league(s)/teams some of our players will be playing in/for. But overall there is a ton of talent and options that will be available for whomever coaches the team next.
      Having viable depth at nearly every position on the field where we could actually rotate players during tournaments without having a significant drop-off in talent/ability.

    • The difference between top 10 teams and the rest are depth. Look at last fall we had Weah, Pulisic, Adams, Brookd, Altidore and Morales all hurt and look how average we looked. To truly compete you don’t need 5 or 6 top league players you need 15 to 20 along with some luck. Look at 2002 John O’Brien had one season in which he played more than 20 club matches, the season leading to the WC. If JOB is hurt does the US make the quarters, IMO no. Looking at Lost’s list there are a lot of 2nd division guys that are TBD. We need that many to be solid regulars in top 5 leagues or a superstar in MLS to be a top ten club.


Leave a Comment