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Sebastian Soto joins Scottish club Livingston on loan


Sebastian Soto’s club career looked to have hit a standstill in Portugal this season, but now the American forward has a new opportunity in the Scottish Premiership.

Soto has joined Livingston on loan for the rest of the season, the club announced Wednesday. Norwich City recalled Soto early from his loan spell with FC Porto and has given him a new opportunity to earn first team minutes.

“Sebastian was on our radar in the summer but we missed out to FC Porto but it hasn’t quite worked out for him over in Portugal and the opportunity came up again a few weeks ago and fortunately this time, we’ve been successful,” Livingston manager David Martindale said.

“Sebastian has represented the USA from under 17 level right through to the full national team and has scored goals at every level from 19’s onwards, including two against Panama for the senior side. He has played for Hannover 96 in the Bundesliga before being purchased by Norwich City so he is a really exciting signing for us.”

Soto joined Norwich City from German side Hannover in the Summer of 2020, but has yet to make his first team debut in England. The U.S. men’s national team forward scored seven goals in 12 appearances with Dutch second tier club Telstar on loan last season and since was loaned to FC Porto in September 2021.

The 21-year-old scored one goal and registered one assist in eight appearances for Porto B this season.

Livingston sits in ninth place in the 12-team Premiership, five points out from the top-six. Soto will look to make his debut this week as Livingston hosts Rangers on Wednesday before traveling to Hibernian on Saturday.


  1. Mr. Voice

    “Loans are not the benefit you think”.

    Balderash. Loans are a great thing for a player to show what he has. It beats rotting in the reserves.

    Bryan Reynolds isn’t good enough to play for Mourinho NOW. Loans will give him a chance to get good enough. . And if not, it puts him in the shop window.
    Bryan not being good enough is the problem not the loan system.

    The problem that players in your alleged loan hell have is that pro soccer is very hard. And they are not quite good enough to win a regular place.

    Even if you have all the talent in the world you just might not fit in better with some club than the other guy.

    The proof is in the pudding. Having the talent gets you opportunities. But after that comes the hard part, proving to the manager that you are the best option.

    What the loan does is give the teams more chances to try out players.

    You keep acting like a loan is a bad option that a guy like Soto should turn his back on.

    Without loans Soto,who at least is being paid ,would be out there ,without the backing of Norwich. beating the bushes in some obscure League or he’d be back in MLS.

    MLS is not the dead end it used to be for failed Americans. But that’s a very recent development.
    Europe is still where the best young Americans want to be.

    I know this because most of them seem to turn up there.

    Want to avoid being loaned? Play better. Now.

    • dude, you’re assuming players aren’t already turned up to 11. you can’t motivate and effort your way out of you are playing as hard as you can and the coach just hates you. for that matter,, some teams just hoard a secondary roster of assets to make money off of on loan fees.

      be real, the majority of these players on loan never become integral parts of the parent roster. if you are loaned more than once for youthful playing time, you are not in the plans and they are running your clock out while milking their asset. the problem becomes that once they give up on you as their player, many of the parent clubs are interested in the windfall — and thus rotate you around until you sell — and not in bedding you down someplace where you gain comfort and flourish. which then would benefit the NT and catch the eyes of club form obsessed NT coaches.

      you wanna go down the list? is EPB ever playing/starting at city? CCV at spurs? miazga at chelsea? soto at norwich? richards at bayern? they will eventually end up someplace else — likely lower rank — why not speed up the process? and pretty much everyone on this list SHOULD be NT competitive but are not.

      to me it’s about calibrating your decisions up front. like set yourself up for success. before you pretend that’s lacking ambition, it’s precisely what someone like haaland does — on purpose. small baby steps. local team, national team, austrian team, bundesliga team. do real well next step. only then worry about the next rung. americans now that they can get signed at elite clubs have it confused. past the academies there — which are subject to the FIFA 18 year old rule — the idea should be to culminate your career at the big clubs, like dempsey or beasley, not start there and only fall downwards.

      it’s like y’all over and over unlearn the “zelalem” type lessons. some of these kids are just in way over their head and it doesn’t help their overall career arc when they just start dropping and dropping down the prestige ranks. what’s he play, USL now?

      • Mr. Voice,

        That’s so much cow contribution to global warming.

        “be real, the majority of these players on loan never become integral parts of the parent roster.”

        That’s because they aren’t good enough.

        Its like I said, pro soccer is a hard game and most players just aren’t going to make the top flight. Most of the examples you cited? Those players just aren’t that good and before loans became much more popular, they would all most likely have been just like Lletget, spend a couple of years trying to break through at a European team, play in the reserves, never really making the grade and then coming back to the USMNT to embarrass it in your golden years.

        Where is the proof that if an American player tries to go to Europe the only reason he will fail is because of bad agents, poor planning and anti American managers who hate you?

        Guys like EPB and Miazga should get down on their knees and thank God that loans existed to allow below average guys like them to play so much.

        If they are hoarded assets, then it’s the best thing that ever happened to them.

        Players signing with any club always have at least two sides. The Club has to give you chances to prove yourself. After all they have invested x amount in you and if you do well that investment only increases in value.

        And the players have to prove themselves worthy of the contract or more if possible.

        Could the player wind up in a place where the club or the manager do not suit him? Sure. But it is in the interest of both , for example, Chelsea and Miazga to put him somewhere where he succeeds because it is good for both Chelsea and Matt. Are you saying Chelsea just hands Miazga a list of phone numbers and tell him to call these guys to get you a team? That’s not what he has said.

        As for the club they get loaned too? They make out too. They get a chance to try to fit in a player they could not otherwise afford. As far as I can tell no club using loaned players has those loans “forced” on them.

        They do it because they hope to fill a need they cannot otherwise fill.

        The loans don’t always work out but that’s the inherent risk involved with new players, loaned or not.

        I don’t know what EPB’s problem is but it seems to me that he’s playing at the level where he deserves to be.

        “it’s precisely what someone like haaland does — on purpose. small baby steps. ”

        Haaland?? I got news for you. HIs enormous talent has a lot more to do with his success than his “baby steps”. Give Soto the best agents and planners that money could buy and guarantee that he would take their advice. Do all that and Sebastian still would not be challenging Erling for best striker in the world.

        Loans aren’t the problem. They aren’t why there is what you call your Loan Hell. The players and their lack of talent are the problem.

  2. JR,

    “At least loan army guys like Miazga, EPB, and CCV have worked hard and largely been regular starters in quality leagues.”

    What makes you think Soto hasn’t worked hard?

    Miazga, and CCV are center backs. EPB also plays a little defensive midfielder along with CB. The nature of those positions makes it look like you’re working hard.

    Soto is a striker. Specifically he’s a poacher. The nature of that position makes it hard to tell just how “hard” a player is working. It doesn’t lend it self to the usual American metric for a hard working soccer player, dirty sweaty uniforms and lots of running around endlessly.

    I don’t know how hard Soto worked in Portugal.
    I do know he didn’t sore many goals
    People don’t love that in a striker.
    And scoring a lot does not necessarily have anything to do with how “hard” you work

  3. Porto B? Telestar? Bloody Livingston? Hmmm…sounds like it will be interesting this week to see MLS raised James Sands tussle from time to time with Soto who – let’s remember – was everybody’s favorite before it was Sargent. The following two “it boys” have come through MLS (Dike and Pepi). Perhaps he should return to MLS. We all know that wouldn’t hurt him in GB’s eyes or European scouts’.

  4. Finally he seems to have excepted a humble move. The Scottish league should give him a chance to play and gain confidence let’s hope it doesn’t inflate his or his agents ego again and they swing for another big move this Summer.

    • his real mistake was responding to his hannover struggles for playing time by signing with yoyo team norwich, which basically repeated his issues. what he needed was to play. he has already done the telstar “humble” thing where he had 7 goals in 12 appearances. the problem with your humility lesson theory is just like a list of eternal loan players including miazga he could show well this season and be back on loan again next year if they can’t afford him. what he needs is a comfortable home where they play him and he stays put. i agree this is essentially his fault just like sargent or horvath. but i trace it more to the initial overreach. after that, loan hell is loan hell.

      in terms of suitability of platform, meh. telstar was a team that allowed a lot but scored a lot. that works out as a striker showcase, even if you don’t win much. livingston similarly sucks but has less than a goal a game. that sounds like service starvation. maybe livingston fixes it. maybe he helps. or maybe it’s not his best stage. we’ll see. at minimum porto didn’t seem interested in him as a first team player which defeated that point. so something new is better than portuguese reserve ball.

      • fwiw christian ramirez has 12 goals in all competitions for aberdeen (2d in SPL goal leaderboard) after (foolishly, IMO) riding the bench here under tab ramos.

      • IV- LDT found a home, yet you & others, think the Dutch league sux. I agree US players need to find a club home in search of consistent playing time. Soccer 1st US fans ALWAYS criticize leagues, they don’t know about it. This is a major contradiction. For instance, ‘the Dutch league doesn’t play defense!’ ‘Jupiler league in Belgium is an MLS lateral move.’ ‘Scottish league is below MLS.’ ‘B2, Segunda division, & Championship are JV league’s.’ ‘MLS is 2nd division league!’ Which I have to remind myself, that a lot of us just don’t enjoy the sport but love commenting. Soto scored when in the Dutch league, which you’ve already said not a defensive league. How much better is the defense in the Scottish Premiership?

      • He created his playing struggles at Hannover by demanding a transfer because they got relegated. Hannover couldn’t find an acceptable deal so they just let his contract run out. Telstar was a means to an end until his work permit went thru, aided by strong arming USSF into capping him to speed along his permit. At before Norwich II and Porto II he quickly went from playing to benched so maybe now on club #4 he’ll put his head down and be coach able. At least loan army guys like Miazga, EPB, and CCV have worked hard and largely been regular starters in quality leagues. Soto has lost favor everywhere he’s went. Zelalem, Hyndman, Kitchen, Harkes, and now Ramirez have all found success in Scotland hopefully Soto can turn it around too.

      • It’s ok 2: I’m the opposite of a league snob. I spend half my posting time trying to rescue players from GB’s club form obsession. My thing is don’t put yourself in the same bad situation twice. Hannover then Norwich (remembering he had a work permit issue) was pretty stupid. It’s not about league snobbery, it’s about he wasn’t going to get time either place. That then kneecaps any chance at the senior NT under this coach. Both he and Sargent are getting punished for their choice. Horvath too — why go from sitting in Belgium to backup at Notts Forest? Who are their agents?

        LDT it’s not a league snobbery argument, it’s a “he’s never done crap” argument. To the contrary, he has a pretty good resume, just doesn’t do much anyplace. 0G 0A in Holland is shocking. They don’t play defense. I think he’s living off rep like Hyndman was. I don’t see what the excitement is. Green had 15 goals in B.2. Holmes has some goals in the Championship. We have other productive options who have done something in a US shirt.

      • JR is sweeping under the rug the regular ups and downs his loan warriors have actually had. Every 2-3 years there is a nightmare interspersed in their perigrinations. And the other thing he’s finessing is they pretty much all are outside looking in for the NT when they were in the game circa 2018 under the other coach and probably should all be competitive for the back end of the 23, on paper and talent. Spurs owns you and we’re seeing McKenzie instead? Suggests the loans are not the benefit you think.

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