Emerson Hyndman’s debut for the USA national team at the tender age of 18 must have come as a surprise to many, but not to Fulham manager Felix Magath.
The teenager came on as a 67th-minute substitute in the USA’s 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic in a friendly international in Prague on Wednesday.
Magath has made the midfielder one of the key players in his team in the Championship after being impressed with his qualities early on.
Hyndmas has played in three of the five league fixtures for the Cottagers this term and boasts of over 90% passing accuracy.
The youngster is a gifted player, and although his displays have not translated into wins for Fulham, Magath is confident that he will play a key role in his team’s success this season.
Explaining what makes Hyndman such an impressive player, the former Bayern Munich coach told Fulham’s official website: ‘He has a wonderful range of passing, short or cross-field.
‘He understands tactics, but at 18 years old he has a lot of time to develop and to get experience. I’m sure he will be a good player.
‘His role could be similar to the one that Andrea Pirlo plays, responsible for the forward play of the team from deep’.
Magath added: ‘I have never seen a player of his age play like he does; he passes like an old professional. He is very responsible with the ball and tries to make things happen’.
Hyndman joined Fulham from FC Dallas in 2011 and has developed impressively. Players at his age often struggle to get playing time for big clubs, but Magath’s policy of using youngsters this season has benefitted him.
A player who shows composure and maturity on the football pitch, Hyndman is a good talent, but he still has lots to learn and develop physically. However, given the faith that both Magath and USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann have shown in him so far, it does look that he is on the right track.