Nick Taitague might’ve been the last to join Schalke of the current trio of Americans. But when the dust settles, he might also be the best of the lot.
Taitague’s profile in the firmament of American soccer mega-prospects is unique, and it perhaps occupies a niche no other player does. Taitague’s never played in a Development Academy system, and he bounced between a couple clubs in his native Virginia before signing an amateur contract with the then-Carolina RailHawks in 2016. And while his name made the national circuit by dint of his experience with the U.S. youth national team, his time in camp was sporadic enough that his spotlight never got particularly searing.
That changed the minute he joined Schalke on an official basis in February 2017.
Today’s TDS Scouting Report turns its gaze to Taitague and his blizzard of technical ability. He’s among a number of quality prospects abroad, and yet his skill set enchants like few others, not only in his age cohort but in the entirety of the pool. If the young 18-year-old is the next to puncture a major tournament (the looming U20 World Cup, perhaps?) then don’t say we didn’t warn you.