Wolfsburg Loans USA's Ulysses Llanez to Heerenveen

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U.S. international forward Ulysses Llanez will spend the season with Heerenveen in the Netherlands after being sent out on loan by Wolfsburg.

The Dutch side confirmed the transaction on Tuesday, giving Llanez the opportunity to secure more experience and playing time that wasn't abundant in the Bundesliga. The 19-year-old forward, who has scored the U.S. men's national team's only goal of 2020 (the Americans have played one match due to the pandemic, a Feb. 1 friendly vs. Costa Rica), had broken through to make Wolfsburg's bench at the end of last season, but the loan is an indicator that the club sees his most likely path to regular playing time this season coming elsewhere. That is far from meaning he doesn't have a long-term future with the club: Wolfsburg signed Llanez to a deal through 2024 in conjunction with the loan.

Heerenveen has some American ties, with Michael Bradley and Robbie Rogers previously spending time at the club. Llanez, who scored 11 goals in 16 appearances for Wolfsburg's U-19s last season, will join a growing group of young U.S. internationals in the Netherlands for 2020-2021. 

Sergiño Dest is still at Ajax, though he remains linked with a move away. PSG, one of the reported suitors, is likely out after signing Italian veteran Alessandro Florenzi, but Bayern Munich and clubs in Spain (Barcelona was rumored to be interested earlier in the year) are reportedly still in the mix, according to Sport Bild. Dest is under contract with Ajax through 2022.

Elsewhere, Richie Ledezma and Chris Gloster (PSV Eindhoven) and Alex Mendez (Ajax) will be looking to break through with their respective first teams. 

Luca de la Torre, the former Fulham academy product, has broken through with his new team, coming off the bench and assisting on a goal in his debut for Heracles.

Sebastian Soto, who just left Hannover for Norwich City, was sent on loan to Telstar in the second division.

Heerenveen won its season-opening game this past weekend, beating Willem II 2-0.