There is little question among those who’ve watched American flanks break down in chaos time after time that outside back has been something of a bugaboo in USMNT history. The position is scarce to begin with, but the reality is magnified in the halls of American soccer. The list of truly transcendent fullbacks who’ve pulled on a USMNT jersey is notoriously small.
There may be help on the way in the coming decade. And you need look no further than the looming U17 MNT cycle for proof.
The U.S. U15 BNT just wrapped up a successful run through the U15 CONCACAF Championship, which ended just shy of the title in the finale against Mexico. There were plenty of reasons for optimism, not least of which the level of individual technical ability on display. It’s clear the U.S. is beginning to produce more truly versatile operators all along the formation, and the game’s creeping globalization here was plainly evident.
That was perhaps no more clear than it was at fullback.
NYCFC right back Joseph Scally and Atlanta United left back George Bello both enjoyed tremendous tournament performances, both on an individual basis and as part of the collective. Scally’s one of the quieter up-and-comers with NYCFC, but he should probably be NYCFC’s first defensive Homegrown signing. Bello, meanwhile, is a year older and was signed to a Homegrown deal earlier this summer. Both Scally (2021) and Bello (2020) will be firmly in the reckoning for the 2019 U17 World Cup once the cycle resets in November.
For now, let’s take a gander at this TDS Scouting video compiled by our J.R. Eskilson to see just why both these dudes are on such encouraging fast tracks.