Justin Che is following in the footsteps of some of his fellow young U.S. men's national team prospects.
Che, 18, has joined Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on an 18-month loan from FC Dallas, a move akin to that of Cole Bassett's to Feyenoord and James Sands's to Rangers, continuing the beat of rising talents getting chances overseas. Che, who previously spent time on loan with Bayern Munich as part of FC Dallas's partnership with the club, will join another FCD product, Chris Richards, at Hoffenheim. Richards is on loan from Bayern for this season after spending the second half of last season there as well.
As is the case with Bassett and Sands, Che's loan comes with the option for Hoffenheim to purchase at the end of the 18 months. He simultaneously extended his contract with FC Dallas through 2025 (with a club option for 2026), which covers the club in the event Hoffenheim doesn't act.
For FC Dallas, it's another former academy product that has headed abroad. Richards, Weston McKennie (Juventus), Tanner Tessmann (Venezia), Bryan Reynolds (Roma), Reggie Cannon (Boavista), Ricardo Pepi (Augsburg), Dante Sealy (PSV) and Thomas Roberts (Klagenfurt) are all currently overseas.
Hoffenheim is currently in fourth in the Bundesliga, part of a congested group jockeying for a place in next season's Champions League. Che should have an easier time acclimating there given that he speaks German and carries a German passport. The versatile defender made 15 appearances for FC Dallas last season (12 starts) and had three assists. He has previously been called up to the senior U.S. national team, but he has yet to be capped above the U-20 level.
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