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Justin Che eager to continue impressing at Bayern Munich

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Justin Che is the latest American talent to earn an opportunity in Europe and the defender hopes to continue making the most of his time at the home of the reigning UEFA Champions League winners.

Che is currently featuring for Bayern Munich II in the 3. Liga, after joining the club on a five-month loan from MLS club FC Dallas. After heading to Germany as part of a trial alongside several other Dallas teammates, Che has continued to earn minutes at a rapid rate, continuing his development a professional player.

The U.S. Under-16 Men’s National Team product is coming off a 45-minute performance in Bayern II’s 4-0 loss on Monday and is eager to continue learning at the home of one of Europe’s finest and most successful clubs.

“I have a lot still to learn, but one thing is clear: if the team needs me, I’m there,” Che told Bayern TV in an interview. “I’m ready. This is a huge chance for me, it’s a learning opportunity. It’s crazy to wear this badge on my chest. The club won the Champions League last year and is currently the best club in the world.”

“It’s a blessing and an honor to play here and represent this badge. I’ll do everything to help this team.”

Che hasn’t made his senior debut for FC Dallas yet, but it hasn’t stopped him from already grabbing exposure in Europe as a young player. The 17-year-old centerback played the full 90 minutes in matches against FSV Zwickau and Hansa Rostock, and overall has accrued over 200 minutes in four appearances.

It’s a positive start for Che, who like former FC Dallas product Chris Richards, has featured for Bayern II in rapid succession. Richards is currently in the middle of a loan spell himself, this at fellow Bundesliga side Hoffenheim, where he’s played in 13 matches and registered one assist.

Although he is four years younger than Richards, Che has idolized his fellow American’s time in Europe so far and credits the Alabama native for being an inspiration to him.

“Chris [Richards] is like a big brother to me,” Che said. “He also comes from FC Dallas, was at Bayern and is now playing in the Bundesliga. Every young player from the academy there is trying to follow the same path he has taken.

“His development gives me a lot of hope and ambition. Maybe I can also make it in the Bundesliga one day if I work hard.”

Che has four more matches left on his schedule with Bayern II before the end of his loan spell in Munich. No decision has been made on whether or not Bayern will exercise a purchase option for Che in the future, but the American’s impressive time in Germany could play huge dividends for his future as a professional player.

 

Comments

  1. article glosses over the fact that his 45′ stint in the 4-0 loss was him getting pulled at half time down 0-2 already. that usually implies something about CB performance.

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    • He came on at halftime he didn’t get pulled. He came in for the RB but I don’t know if he played there or switched with the CB he can play both positions.

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    • Maybe they edited the article but it says “He’s coming off a 45 minute performance …” not “he came off in a 45 minute performance.” Easy mistake to make.

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  2. cannot be understated how well the FCD academy and/or the Bayern linkup are doing. McKennie, Richards, Che, Zendejas, Mori(s), Hyndman, Pomykal, Acosta, Cannon.

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  3. Not sure what Che’s background is….but pretty sure that unless he has an EU passport he wouldn’t be allowed to sign a contract in Germany until he turns 18. My guess is that once the loan ends he’ll return to FC Dallas with the understanding/expectation that once he turns 18 he’ll be sold to someone…even if it isn’t Bayern.
    3 or 4 years from now we could easily be talking about a Richards & Che partnership for the USMNT.

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    • Che is of Cameroonian descent through his father and Russian descent through his mother, and holds a German passport through his mother. Che speaks fluent English, Russian, and German.

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    • German passport through his mother. That gets him inside the EU and past the 18 year old rule.

      We’ll see what happens. Gyau and Renken were going to set the world on fire, went to Whitecaps U23 to dodge the 18 year old rule, both had bad injuries and didn’t quite turn out. Gyau plays for Cincy and Renken is done. It’s important if you stay relatively injury free and make the right career decisions once you reach professional play.

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      • Man, that’s a name I haven’t heard in a looooooong while! I was quite taken with Renken. Kid had everything (except healthy body). Great touch. Great vision. Good speed. And wonderful touch for his age. What could have been?

        There are quite a few stories like this in American soccer. The dazzling 14 year old or the scintillating 16 year old who had all the goods BUT the injury bug or maturity issues derailed promising beginnings.

        This make me ever more glad that MLS and USSF have developed over the years to get these young men and women into environments that help them maximize their abilities and provide a broader imagination of what a professional football career can be.

      • It’s complicated. I think the elite player is able to accelerate into a Juve or Chelsea or Dortmund situation than ever before. I think the second or third tier can professionalize faster but I am not entirely sold for them that they are better off on, say, Atlanta 2 than playing 2 years at UCLA or something. They’re never all going to turn out well but I don’t think we have an incredible domestic mousetrap sorted out for turning 18 year old players into MLS veteran stars. Particularly after they went to 8 international slots and shrinked the chance to come in and play right away as a kid.

      • It ia a crap shoot to guess which talented teenager will navigate it through the myriad pitfalls awaiting a budding professional athlete. It is not just soccer, American football and professional basketball all watch for promising young athletes and try to capture as many as they can, knowing full-well that most of them will not make it professionally. Given the opportunity to succeed, most fall short for one reason or another.

        An example, is Johnny Nelson who is presently LB for Dallas. To my eye, he is the best tactical defender his age and has speed and skill, but coaches want more attacking play from their outside backs and he has not yet shown that he can do that at the professional level. Unless he makes progress soon on that front, he will likely become at best a very good journeyman defender; he is probably too small to be a CB. He has had no career ending injuries and seems not to suffer from “maturity ” issues; still his odds of making it to the international stage seem, at this time, rather slight.

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