Fulham legend Brian McBride is tipping young Cottager and fellow American Emerson Hyndman for big things at this former club.
Hyndman, 18, joined the club’s youth academy in 2012, and has since enjoyed a rapid rise through the ranks at Craven Cottage, proving a core contributor to under-18s side’s run to the FA Youth Cup final last season.
Making his professional debut as part of an inexperienced line-up in the season opener against Ipswich Town, the emerging midfielder made three starts over the first month of the season, which earned him a surprise call-up to the senior national team for the match against Czech Republic in Prague.
Appearing as a 67th-minute substitute for Jurgen Klinsmann’s side, big things are expected of the promising teenager at the both the club and international level moving forward and, while he has not featured on a regular basis for Fulham in recent weeks, McBride remains excited about his undoubted potential.
The US icon hasn’t yet reached out to his compatriot, despite being closely involved with the club over the past month as part of the five-man search committee to find Felix Magath’s replacement, but believes that the environment at the Cottage is the perfect place for him to develop his talents.
“I haven’t reached out or talked with him but I’ve certainly seen him play a few times. Yeah, you can see the talent is there,” he told AmericanSoccerNow.com.
“Of course the history with his family is very soccer-oriented. There is a lot going for him. At Fulham right now, especially with Kit [Symons] being the new coach, he understands the strengths and weaknesses of all the players breaking in right now. He has a lot of positives happening right now in that movement."
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Despite his tender age, Hyndman has managed to prove a remarkably accurate passer in his short career, his statistics placing him among the Championship’s best, with the departed Magath even moved to compare his game to superstar Andrea Pirlo back in September.
“I came to the Club last February, and like I always have done wherever I have worked I looked at the youth team,” he told the club’s official website. “One of the players I saw very early on was Emerson Hyndman.
“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.
“I have never seen a player of his age play like he does; he passes like an old professional,” the German added. “He is very responsible with the ball and tries to make things happen.”
While those comparisons might seem outlandish to some, the Texas-native has no doubt impressed for someone who just made their professional bow in August, but his immediate goal still remains trying to nail down a regular starting spot in new boss Kit Symons’ line-up.