Another young U.S. men's national team prospect is headed overseas to a top European club.
Caden Clark, the New York Red Bulls' 18-year-old midfield dynamo with a penchant for the spectacular, will be heading up the Red Bull chain and joining RB Leipzig in the winter, following the conclusion of the 2021 MLS season. Clark, who just had an appendectomy and will be out for a few weeks, is signed with Leipzig through '24 and technically on loan with the Red Bulls through the remainder of the current campaign.
In Leipzig, Clark will play for former Red Bulls coach Jesse Marsch and team with Red Bulls product Tyler Adams for a club that continues to challenge Bayern Munich for Bundesliga glory.
“Caden is a big talent and we are happy to see him take the next step in his career,” Red Bulls head coach Gerhard Struber said. “He is a hardworking kid and has a bright future ahead of himself.”
Clark becomes the latest young U.S. player to use MLS as a launchpad to Europe, following Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Brenden Aaronson (Salzburg), Mark McKenzie (Genk), Bryan Reynolds (Roma) and Joe Scally (Borussia Monchengladbach), among the players on the rise who have recently crossed the Atlantic.
“From the time Caden joined us, I think we all recognized that if he continued to work hard and take advantage of his opportunities, Caden had the potential to move to Europe," Red Bulls' head of sport Kevin Thelwell said. "We’re delighted to have played a role and helped him make the jump to a top-five league like the Bundesliga.”
In his brief time with the Red Bulls, Clark, a Minnesota native who rose through the Barcelona Residency Academy, has six goals and two assists (15 games). He was recently named to the USMNT's preliminary Gold Cup roster, which, while it comprises 59 players, is further indicative of his ascension. Clark has yet to represent the U.S. at any international level, but it figures to be a matter of time before that changes.
"Caden Clark has fantastic skills and enormous potential," Leipzig technical director Christopher Vivell said. "He can play anywhere across attacking midfield and is incredibly adaptable in his playing style. As well as that, he is a scoring threat, has great passing quality and strikes the ball well, allowing him to score goals from range. These skills make him a perfect fit for our playing philosophy."
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