Kristian Fletcher was loaned out by DC United to Swansea City in September to stay until December.
It was expected that one of DC United’s finest homegrown players would be given a chance in Europe. In addition, the fact that the teams are owned by the same people makes it even more logical that they coordinate the loan.
Having celebrated his 18th birthday in August, Fletcher only played 123 minutes in 10 games for the 2023 season. In the latter weeks of the season, as DC United battled for a playoff spot, former head coach Wayne Rooney started several veterans up front.
Fletcher was informed of the loan announcement one week before to his departure, on September 20. The player was able to lawfully relocate since his father was born in Scotland, which allowed him to get a passport from the United Kingdom.
How has Kristian Fletcher fared for Swansea U-21?
Fletcher has been phenomenal for Swansea City‘s U-21 squad since the loan was intended to get him there. He has started the season well for the Swans’ youth squad, scoring three braces already.
The 18-year-old winger has left his mark twice in three victories for his team: 4-0 against Hull City, 3-1 against Brighton, and 6-0 against Briton Ferry in the League Cup of Wales. He has maintained his impressive form since coming in September, scoring 13 goals, including a hat-trick in his most recent match against Ipswich Town.
Even though he can play in each of the three forward positions, he has started his loan out on the field as a striker. Even as a solo No. 9, and on occasion as a No. 9 in tandem with another player.
Will Fletcher get his chance in first team?
Since Fletcher has shown again and again that he can lead the U-21 squad in goals, the two biggest concerns for him now are whether or not the Welsh side will promote him to the first team on his loan.
Given his current goal-scoring rate, it will be surprising if he doesn’t begin training soon. Perhaps even soon enough to be named to Michel Duff’s first team matchday rosters.
Furthermore, it remains to be seen whether Swansea City will choose to buy him out or prolong his loan. Since the American rising star can’t do anything about it right now, the issue remains as to whether he will be a part of the club next year.
Before signing with DC United, rumors circulated that Fletcher may be joining Borussia Dortmund, a move that would have fulfilled his long-term goal of playing at the top level in Europe. Swansea’s first team isn’t exactly tearing it up right now—they are in 18th place in the Championship after 17 games. But it may be considered a solid stepping stone for a young player without much Major League Soccer experience.
Fletcher has also been called up to the U.S. U-20 squad on many occasions while playing at a high level, but he was unable to make it to the U-20 World Cup qualifying or final rosters. During his stint with the U.S. U-19 squad in 2023, he began a March trip against Argentina and scored a goal against Racing.
The left winger may represent the US in the 2025 U-20 World Cup and the 2024 and 2028 Olympics on the U-23 squad because he was born in 2005. Still, he is said to be eager to start playing for the U-20 squad, where he is a leading contender for a key role, as per American Soccer Now.
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