In recent times, the United States has churned out more young talent than ever before. Young stars have recently moved such as Gianluca Busio whereas some made their move long before like Alphonso Davies.
However the new United States National Team star Konrad De La Fuente has been plying his trade in Spain since he was a child. Born in Miami, De La Fuente has been part of the illustrious Barcelona academy but has now moved to France and immediately became a starter with Marseille.
Alongside his club career at one of Europe’s biggest teams, De La Fuente has featured prominently in the American National Team set up at various levels. Between 2016 and 2017, whilst in Barcelona’s academy, De La Fuente played 11 times for the United States under-16 team and debuted at only 14 years old. In his eleven appearances, De La Fuente got on the scoresheet four times before being promoted to the under 18’s at just 16.
De La Fuente played 13 times for both the under-18 and under-20 squad which included a call-up to the 2019 under-20 World Cup. The winger was in the starting 11 for every game of the tournament before the USA crashed out to Mexico at the quarter-final stage.
In November 2020, De La Fuente received his first call up for the United States senior team for friendlies against Wales and Panama. During this call-up, De La Fuente would earn his full international debut when he started against Wales before being replaced in the 71st minute.
Konrad De La Fuente joined Barcelona in 2013 and trained in La Masia before his move to Marseille in 2021. After five years with Barcelona, De La Fuente made his debut with the Catalan Giants B team when he played 12 minutes as a substitute in a Segunda Division B game. Though he conceded a penalty in his debut, he would go on to feature for three more years with the B team and managed to play twice for the senior team.
Whilst with the B team he played 25 times and scored seven times. His promotion to the senior team came during the preseason of 2020. He became the first American to play for Barcelona (A month before Serginio Dest became the second). Two appearances in the Champions League against Dynamo Kyiv and Ferencvaros followed before he was sold to Marseille this summer.
On June 29th, 2021 Konrad De La Fuente moved to Marseille for a reported £2.7 million. He signed a four-year deal with Barcelona reserving the right to 50% of any future sale of the American. The US winger impressed new manager Jorge Sampaoli during the preseason and has become a starter in the opening two weekends.
De La Fuente was a possible surprise inclusion for many when he was named on the wing for Marseille’s opening Ligue 1 fixture against Montpellier. But the American justified his selection with his direct approach and mesmerising close control which resulted in an assist in a 3-2 victory.
He featured again for 90 minutes in Marseille’s second fixture against Bordeaux and has proven there is no ceiling for the talent of this American winger in France.
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