Exports: Konrad de la Fuente draws rave Barcelona reviews, Antonee Robinson makes Fulham debut

    US youth international forward Konrad de la Fuente continues to impress in first-team friendlies for Barcelona, drawing rave reviews from head coach Ronald Koeman after a 3-1 victory over Girona on Wednesday.

    He entered as a second-half substitute, building off last weekend’s debut performance in a 3-1 win against Gimnastic. Koeman, Barca’s new manager, offered high praise for the 19-year-old Miami native days after he became the first American to feature for the storied La Liga club.

    “If I had to highlight one of the youngsters, I would say Konrad,” Koeman said. “I am really happy with him. But we also have Pedri, Riqui. We have great a future ahead of us.”

    Konrad’s yet to appear in a competitive match for Barcelona, though he’s clearly caught the eye of the Dutch manager as he assesses the squad. Konrad’s been at Barca’s La Masia academy since 2014, progressing through the ranks before signing a new deal this past June through 2022.

    “I’m really happy to have played these two games with the first team and we’ll continue to work hard to start the season in the best way possible,” de la Fuente said.

    Robinson makes Fulham debut

    USMNT left back Antonee Robinson made his Fulham debut Wednesday, playing 90 minutes in their 1-0 Carabao Cup second round victory over Ipswich Town. Robinson didn’t make the 18-man matchday roster for Fulham’s 3-0 loss last weekend against Arsenal, so he’ll hope this performance portends more Premier League opportunities.

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    Robinson joined this summer from Wigan Athletic after a wintertime move to AC Milan fell through due to a failed medical. But now he’s in England’s top flight and looking to impress under manager Scott Parker.

    Robinson, 23, has made seven USMNT caps. Left back has long been a problem spot for the USMNT, so his emergence could seriously benefit Gregg Berhalter’s team.

    Harrison on bench in Leeds ouster

    Leeds United fell in the Carabao Cup’s second round Wednesday, though former New York City FC winger Jack Harrison remained on the bench. Leeds tied Hull City 1-1, then dropped the penalty kick shootout 9-8. 

    Harrison’s again on loan from Manchester City, and scored in his Premier League debut last weekend against Liverpool (4-3 loss). He’s a consistent presence under head coach Marcelo Bielsa as the newly-promoted club looks to make waves in England’s top flight.

    Wingo, Molde advance

    Former Seattle Sounders midfielder/defender Henry Wingo went the distance as Norwegian side Molde FK advanced past Azerbaijani club Qarabag FK in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round Wednesday. They were tied 0-0 after regulation, but then Molde won the penalty kick shootout 6-5 to book a playoff against Hungarian club Ferencvarosi later this September. 

    Molde, a Homegrown winger for Seattle, was transferred to Molde in August 2019. He made 22 appearances (3 starts) in three seasons for Seattle upon signing a first-team contract with the club.

    Should Wingo and Molde navigate past Ferencvarosi, they’d qualify for the Champions League group stage later this year.

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