Fans of the US national team got a glimpse of the future in their side’s 1-0 win over the Czech Republic on Wednesday, when 18-year-old Fulham midfielder Emerson Hyndman entered the match for the final 20 minutes to make his senior international bow.
The grandson of former FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman, the Texas-native has been at Craven Cottage since 2011, only earning his professional debut at the beginning of this season, but has since started three Championship games in Felix Magath's youthful lineup.
His performances clearly caught the eye of US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, who, in picking an experimental 22-man squad for the friendly in Prague, with veteran goalkeeper Nick Rimando the lone MLS representative, opted to make the teenager the youngest member on the roster.
There were five other uncapped names among the group, with Cody Cropper, Greg Garza, Joe Gyau, Rubio Rubin and Jordan Morris also included - the latter having the chance to become the first college-based player to appear for the senior side since Ante Razov in 1995.
Gyau and Garza were the only ones to make their debuts alongside Hyndman on the night, with the US sealing a narrow victory thanks to a 39th-minute Alejandro Bedoya goal, but it was the introduction of the promising Cottagers playmaker which really had people talking.
Tipped to become a central part of the setup during the Russia 2018 World Cup cycle, supporters were rightly excited to see him given a brief chance to impress and, as the reaction shows, big things are expected from this point forward.
EMERSON HYNDMAN MAKES HIS INTERNATIONAL DEBUT FOR THE USMNT— Russ Goldman (@Russ_Goldman) September 3, 2014
Bedoya off, replaced by Emerson Hyndman, who is making his national team debut at the tender age of 18. Skilled midfielder w/bright future— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) September 3, 2014
Emerson Hyndman comes on for Bedoya. Big moment for the talented Fulham midfielder.— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) September 3, 2014
Seeing history with Hyndman. So special.— Zack Goldman (@ThatDamnYank) September 3, 2014
Let the Hyndman Era begin— American Outlaws PDX (@AOPDX) September 3, 2014
Hyndman for US captain. Discuss.— Howie (@Howie_OT) September 3, 2014
Emerson Hyndman is my favorite #USMNT player, non-Mix category— Ryan Rosenblatt (@RyanRosenblatt) September 3, 2014
The best thing a young player can do after a boneheaded giveaway is to immediately track back and win the ball back. Bravo, Emerson Hyndman.— Jonah Freedman (@jonahfreedman) September 3, 2014
Hyndman is everywhere.— TNC MLS (@TNC_MLS) September 3, 2014
Hyndman has been incredibly cool. Bright future for the 18 year old— Max Wachman (@Wachaflocka1) September 3, 2014
Hyndman just had a HUGE dispossession of Arsenal super sub Tomas Rosicky at the top of the box. 1-0 US 86' but all Czechs right now— FulhamsFinest (@FulhamsFinest) September 3, 2014
Beyond proud of my boy @emersonhyndman well deserved! Keep killin it!— Kellyn Acosta (@KellynAcosta) September 3, 2014
Of all our youngsters Hyndman has taken 2 1st team football the best. Not saying he will be the best in the end but right now he's money FFC— Drew Pettifer (@MobileJustice) September 3, 2014