Reading youngster scores with first touch in USA under-20 win

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Reading youngster Andrija Novakovich helped the USA under-20s to a 2-1 win over Chile in their first match of the 2014 NTC Tournament.

Reading striker Andrija Novakovich made an immediate impact for the USA under-20s against Chile on Monday night, scoring with his very first touch of the game, two minutes after coming on as a sub.

His 65th minute header from a free-kick acted as the equaliser at 1-1, setting up the USA to go on and win their opening match of the 2014 NTC Tournament 2-1 with Novakovich now hoping to start the second game against Bermuda on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old officially signed for Reading this summer, having impressed scouts during his time playing for the under-18 national side, and joins a growing legacy of Americans at the club which has included Marcus Hahnemann, Bobby Convey and current midfielder Danny Williams.

A native of Muskego, Wisconsin, Novakovich is of Serbian descent but his mother was raised near Reading and also holds British citizenship, swaying his decision to turn down a scholarship offer to Marquette University in favour of a spot with the Championship side.

At 6ft 2in, most would be quick to label the promising Royals prospect a target man, but he in fact models his game more after his idol Thierry Henry, comfortable with the ball at his feet and willing to take defenders on.

Gearing up to play in the 2015 under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, Novakovich is set to begin life at Reading with the under-18 team, but could well see minutes with the reserves if all goes to plan.

An undoubtedly intriguing prospect, both for the US national team and English football, he is one to keep an eye on over the coming years.

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