1899 Hoffenheim was the biggest story in European football last fall.The newly promoted side was leading the Bundesliga as Christmas approached. Of course, Hoffenheim fell off but they left their mark on the world of football and the Bundesliga.

Today, Hoffenheim signed two of the best young American prospects ever:  attacker Joseph-Claude Gyau and midfielder Charles Renken. Gyau is 16, and Renken is 15. Both will be leaving Bradenton early to join Hoffenheim’s youth program.

Renken, for his part was courted by just about every major team in Germany and England. Last year, we discussed Renken’s potential move to Arsenal, and reiterated my long held belief that Americans develop better when in Germany or Holland than in England.

With this in mind, I am relived that Renken along with Gyau will get a proper education in the game, leaving Bradenton early and headed to perhaps the best league to develop youngsters on the planet.