Ulysses Llanez is one step closer to making his Bundesliga debut for VfL Wolfsburg.
Wolfsburg manager Oliver Glasner confirmed Monday that Llanez will travel with the first team for Tuesday’s league match at Bayer Leverkusen. Llanez has yet to debut for the first team in competitive action, despite training with them in 2020.
The moment you’ve all been waiting for…?
— VfL Wolfsburg US (@VfLWolfsburg_US) May 25, 2020
Due to injuries and suspension, five Under-23 players will also be making the trip to Leverkusen. The club is aiming to bounce back from a 2-0 loss to Borussia Dortmund this weekend, one that luckily kept them in the European qualification spots.
“We shouldn’t get carried away,” Glasner said prior to Wolfsburg’s first match back on May 16th. “He’s doing things very well and you can see what a big talent he is. But of course in training he has noticed things are different. The fact is he still hasn’t had a game in adult football. We’re doing the lad no favors if we immediately throw him into cold water.”
Llanez scored 11 goals and registered six assists in 16 matches with Wolfsburg’s U-19 side, playing in just over 1,200 minutes of action. He will join international teammate Giovanni Reyna as the latest American player to make their Bundesliga debut, should he play on Tuesday.
The 19-year-old is one of many young and exciting talents in U.S. Soccer, moving through the ranks rather quickly. After featuring for the U.S. Under-20 team 13 times over the past year-and-a-half, Llanez was rewarded with his first senior cap for the USMNT in January.
The 19-year-old scored the lone goal in a 1-0 friendly win over Costa Rica in Carson, Cali. Llanez has since been unable to represent the USMNT since then due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic forcing a halt in international matches and tournaments.
Wolfsburg will take on a Leverkusen side who are fourth in the league table and 14 points clear of them. Led by the individual playmaking ability of Kai Havertz, Leverkusen have won both of their league matches since the Bundesliga resumed including a 3-1 triumph over Borussia Monchengladbach on Saturday.