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Konrad De La Fuente shines in Marseille debut

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American winger Konrad De La Fuente put on a memorable debut for French club Marseille, sparking a comeback that led to an eventual dramatic victory.

De La Fuente recorded his first official professional assist to set up the first goal in a three-goal rally for Marseille, which battled back from a 2-0 deficit to open its Ligue 1 season with a 3-2 victory against Montpellier.

Starting on the left wing in his first official match since completing a transfer from FC Barcelona, De La Fuente was lively throughout, registering a game-high three key passes, including the beautiful move he pulled up to set up Cengiz Under with a pass at the doorstep in the 68th minute.

French star Dmitri Payet did the rest, scoring a pair of goals, including a stunning free kick, to get Marseille off to a winning start.

De La Fuente finished the match with game-high three successful dribbles to go with his three key passes, and he also contributed defensively, adding a pair of tackles before being substituted in the 89th minute.

It is an encouraging start for De La Fuente, who was sold to Marseille for more than $4 million. The 20-year-old Miami native left Barcelona after spending eight years at the club, first developing in the famed La Masia academy before joining the first team as a reserve during the 2020/2021 season.

Playing time was difficult to come by at the Camp Nou though, and with Barcelona desperate to generate funds to offset the club’s financial issues, De La Fuente was sold, though the transfer does include a sell-on clause that will give Barcelona a percentage of any future sale of De La Fuente by Marseille.

A strong start to the Ligue 1 season will boost De La Fuente’s chances of being part of the U.S. men’s national team for World Cup qualifying in September.  He is facing plenty of competition for a spot, but the lack of natural winger options could help his chances if he continues to flourish with Marseille.


What did you think of De La Fuente’s Marseille debut? Think the transfer is going to work out well for the young winger? See him playing a prominent role in World Cup qualifying?

Share your thoughts below.

Comments

  1. Definitely wonder if we might start tinkering with Pulisic as a false 9. Like to see if he can do it since no obvious real answers have popped at the 9 spot.

    Especially if this guy and Hoppe are making a case for themselves as potential wingers….

    Reply
  2. Width from Konrad would allow playing a more defense first LB like Vines if Pulisic is being rested. Thus allowing Aaronson to slide inside.
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    Another example of how Gregg got it right this Summer. There’s no way if Konrad had just gotten to Marseille on Tuesday that he even dresses for this match. By going to preseason instead of the GC he’s positioned to be a regular and perhaps even the first choice starter this season.

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    • I agree and based on what I’ve seen of him (preseason highlights and the entire match today), I’m confident he’ll be one of their key players. The way he and Payet link up, I see him putting up big numbers this year. I’m impressed.

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    • Greg did get it right for many of our guys abroad but non of the usual crowd will admit it. Aranson has started slow in the middle of the park this year. He was really poor today. Marsch had it right IMO. He played BA wider and the only time he has looked good so far this year? Out wide versus Barca. He was super dangerous. I think this where his future lies.

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      • I don’t disagree that Brenden is better wide but my question is this, which is better Konrad at LW with Aaronson as an 8 inside of him or Aaronson as a LW with Lleget as the 8?

    • Yes!- and the 2 friendlies I saw him play- he looked very bright- technical- fast of foot and thought-a constant threat. We’ll see- but I think this season could be his coming out party. The same with Weah. We get those 2 firing and GB will have allllll kinds of options- # 1 bringing Reyna to the middle of the park to ramp up our creativity. The biggest issue I’ve seen with A thru C under GB has been a glaring lack of width- Dest, Pulisic, Reyna all loving to tuck in putting everyone in the middle.

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    • taking a victory lap before the race starts is unseemly. you might wait and see if any of the “skipper” list makes september or any fall qualifier before breaking your shoulder patting your own back.

      also amusing to hear you suggest we move aaronson in and not pulisic.

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      • If you read the comment it says if Pulisic is being rested. Although Pulisic has been more productive with the NT centrally I’m not sure he has the work rate defensively to play as an 8 in Gregg’s 4-3-3 so given the choice I’d slide Gio inside before Christian. Tuchel’s indicated CP might play some WB but Christian indicated on a podcast it was mostly because players were missing not something likely to happen.
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        Even if Konrad doesn’t play in qualifiers in Sept and Oct. working into the first team in Ligue 1 is a win and proves it was the right move. He’ll also be playing Europa League and got the full Concacaf experience with fans throwing bottles on the field.

  3. Thats a great sign for him to be starting in the opener. Konrad going to have to make that push this upcoming season to make that WCQ or WC team

    Reply

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