A pair of young American talents are eligible to make their UEFA Champions League debuts this weekend.
Konrad de la Fuente and Malik Tillman both have been added to Barcelona’s and Bayern Munich’s rosters respectively for this weekend’s Round of 16 second legs. The competition resumes play after being postponed for several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
De La Fuente, 19, has been training with Barcelona’s first team due to several senior players being out injured. It seems unlikely he will play at the Camp Nou on Saturday against Napoli with the Catalan side tied 1-1 on aggregate.
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team player was promoted to Barcelona’s B team in May and came close to helping them achieve promotion to the Segunda Division this summer. De La Fuente scored three goals and added one assist in six combined appearances for Barcelona B, while also featuring in the UEFA Youth League in 2019.
The 18-year-old Tillman may get a shot for Bayern Munich this weekend, whom lead Chelsea 3-0 on aggregate heading into Saturday’s clash at the Allianz Arena. He has been training with Bayern’s first team since the end of the domestic season.
He scored 16 goals in 26 games for Bayern’s Under-19 team this season, playing alongside fellow Americans Chris Richards and Taylor Booth. Near the end of the season, Tillman was promoted to Bayern’s U-23 team, who won the 3. Liga title despite not being allowed to earn promotion to the 2. Bundesliga. He scored five goals in eight games for them.
Tillman was also rewarded with a new three-year contract in late July which now sees him locked up until June 2023 with the German giants. He is the also the younger brother of fellow USMNT prospect and current Greuther Furth midfielder Timothy Tillman.
Should Barcelona and Bayern Munich both advance, they will take part in the final rounds of the UCL in Portugal later this month.