Boost for USMNT as Bayern talent Tillman chooses USA over Germany

Bayern Munich youth star Malik Tillman has switched his international loyalty from Germany to the United States men’s national team, in a boost for the Stars and Stripes.

The 19-year-old forward, who was born in Nuremberg but qualifies for the USMNT through his father, previously made two appearances for the latter’s U15 side before turning out through the German youth ranks.

Now however, he has signaled a switch of allegiance, a few months ahead of the World Cup in Qatartwo years out from Germany hosting Euro 2024 and four years away from the United States co-hosting the 2026 World Cup.

What decision has Tillman made?

Malik Tillman playing for U20 Germany, 2021

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Despite having played the majority of his youth career for Germany, Tillman has opted to switch nations now, catching the system in the country of his birth off-guard in the process.

“We regret Malik’s decision and it surprised us very much,” youth coach Antonio Di Salvo was quoted by Kicker. “We were in intensive exchanges, as far as his perspectives up to the senior national team are concerned.”

The news will be a particular boost for the USMNT, amid a call-up for Chicago goalkeeper and NXGN graduate Gabriel Slonina to the Poland national team, despite being born in Illinois and with an American youth career to his name.

What does the USMNT’s schedule look like?

The Stars and Stripes will pick up their prep work for Qatar with a raft of friends and competitive matches next month, as they look to make up for their absence from the world stage at Russia 2018.

Games against Morocco and Uruguay kick off June, before Nations League encounters with Grenada and El Salvador follow.

The first two will present the USMNT with the chance to face opposition similar to the caliber of their World Cup fixtures – against England, Iran and an as-yet unknown European qualifier – while the latter pair will hand them the chance to blood fringe players.

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