?Bayern Munich are expected to soon complete the signing of 16-year-old US Soccer prodigy Taylor Booth, a Utah-born player currently in the junior ranks at home-state club Real Salt Lake (RSL).
Washington Post reporter Steven Goff has declared that the move is ‘happening’ and is therefore only expected to be a matter of time before Booth joins ?Bayern’s youth team.
It would appear that Bayern have beaten RSL to the punch, with Goff earlier stating that the Major League Soccer franchise were looking to promote Booth from academy level.
Born in May 2001, Booth was the second youngest member of the United States squad at the Under-17 World Cup in India last year, helping the American team reach the quarter-finals where they lost to eventual champions England.
The teenager was an unused substitute during the group stage, but appeared from the bench in the Last 16 demolition of Paraguay and subsequently started the clash with England.
Booth, has previously captained his country at Under-16 level, was the only player from the state of Utah selected for the tournament.
“It’s always a thrill to have your hometown on the map. I take great pride in representing Utah. I have spent many, many hours kicking a soccer ball on soccer fields throughout the state of Utah, and I am proud that I get to call Utah home,” he told Deseret News in October 2017.
Early comparisons will be drawn with Julian Green, the Florida-born former Bayern winger who became the United States’ youngest ever World Cup goalscorer in 2014.
However, Green, who was born to a German mother, has lived almost his whole life in Germany, playing for two other German clubs before joining Bayern aged 15, and a more accurate comparison would be Borussia Dortmund’s capture of a 16-year-old Christian Pulisic in 2015.
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Bayern famously have previously had success plucking a youth talent straight from North America after bringing a 16-year-old Owen Hargreaves to Europe from Canada in the late 1990s. Hargreaves went on to win four ?Bundesliga titles, three German Cups and the Champions League before being sold to ?Manchester United for a healthy £17m in 2007.
“The most reoccurring question that I am asked is, ‘How did you get to this level?’ I tell people if it can happen to me it can happen to anyone. I owe a lot to my coaches, my family, my fellow teammates and peers that have made me look better at times than maybe I deserved,” Booth further told Deseret News.
“My own mantra that I like to write when someone asks me to sign something, when they think I am a bigger deal than I am, is dream big and play even bigger.”