USMNT abroad: Matthew Hoppe shines for Schalke

Matthew Hoppe (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images)
Matthew Hoppe (Photo by INA FASSBENDER/AFP via Getty Images) /

Matthew Hoppe became the first American player to score a hat-trick in the Bundesliga

It was an incredible performance from 19-year-old Matthew Hoppe on Saturday against Hoffenheim. The Schalke forward registered his first career hat-trick in the German top flight and became the first American player to record a three-goal performance in the Bundesliga.

Hoppe’s three goals propelled Schalke to an important three points in the relegation battle at the bottom of the Bundesliga table. Schalke moved out of last place and into 17th place as they registered their first victory of the 2020/21 Bundesliga season. Additionally, they ended a 30 match winless streak in the Bundesliga with the victory.

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A historic performance

As mentioned, this performance from Hoppe was the first time an American player has recorded a hat-trick in a Bundesliga match. This is quite the way for Hoppe to announce himself as one of the top prospects for the United States Men’s National Team.

He was able to achieve this accomplishment in his first full season with Schalke’s senior team. After coming up through the ranks of the German club’s youth teams, he’s proven he deserves to be playing in the Bundesliga with this performance.

Moving up the USMNT depth chart?

In just one match, Hoppe is now tied with Giovanni Reyna for most goals scored by a USMNT eligible player currently playing in the Bundesliga this season. Reyna has scored three goals for Borussia Dortmund and Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent has scored one goal.

As a result, Hoppe certainly deserves to be on the radar as a player who can continue to move up the USMNT depth chart as the season progresses. Based on the goal-scoring ability Hoppe displayed against Hoffenheim, this likely won’t be the last time he finds the back of the net in the current campaign. He could be the surprise player that ends up scoring the most goals by an American player in a top European league.

Top class goals

The goals scored by Hoppe against Hoffenheim were very impressive finishes. Arguably his best goal was in the 42nd minute as he chipped the ball over the goalkeeper for a splendid finish. All three goals featured very well-timed runs and Hoppe showed composure and class to finish the opportunities that came his way.

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Granted, this was just one performance from Hoppe but there’s reason to be excited about what he displayed. This was a fantastic performance from the 19-year-old and appearances for Schalke’s first team should continue to come from this exciting young player. Keep an eye on Hoppe as the 2020/21 European season continues, he’s got what it takes to be a future USMNT forward.