The ranks of European-based American youngsters continue to grow, a select few are seizing the opportunity to impress their coaches and squads with mid-week appearances in England’s Carling Cup.
Sponsored by Carling Breweries, the tournament is open to all conference teams. Its early rounds are often used as a testing ground by some of England’s larger clubs to try out their Academy and reserve side talent.
In Liverpool’s 3-0 victory over Championship side Millwall, American Under-20 Zack Whitbread went the full 90 minutes, making his first start at The New Den. The 6′ 0 defender was praised on Liverpool’s website. “..Despite the hostile atmosphere and Wimbledon style tactics he coped with everything admirably.”
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez was similarly impressed with his young lions. “Young players can only improve their confidence by winning these kinds of games and handling them so well – it is in my mind to play them again.”
Fellow defender Danny Karbassiyoon, of the Arsenal Reserves side came on as an 82nd minute substitute for Wednesday night’s clash versus Manchester City. The converted forward has appeared in six reserve games for the Premiership leaders.
Making the most of his chance, the 20-year old from Roanoke, VA scored in the 90th minute sealing a 2-1 road victory.
Like Benitez, Arsenal manager Arsene Wegner also believes in giving his young gunners a share of the spotlight.
“It will be a younger team,” he said about his gameday lineup. “We believe we have a great young team and this is an opportunity to express their talent. There is no better opportunity to throw them in than this sort of game.”
Original Article written by Michael Kinstlinger