United States men’s international attacker Matthew Hoppe has signed for La Liga side Mallorca from German club Schalke, completing his move on Europe’s transfer deadline day.
According to reports, the deal for the 20-year-old could reach $3.5m if all the clauses and bonuses built into the contract are met.
On confirming Hoppe’s departure, Schalke’s direct of sport Rouven Shroder said: “Matthew is a brilliant young player, but he would have found it tough to obtain the regular starting place in this team in the next few weeks that he wants. We wish him all the best for his personal and sporting future.”
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Hoppe shot to prominence in the Bundesliga last season where he scored six times in 22 appearances for Schalke, and though his goals weren’t enough to keep the club from Gelsenkirchen afloat, the American was able to add to his reputation.
On 9 January earlier this year, Hoppe made history when he became the first player from the United States to score a hattrick in the Bundesliga. The attacker smashed home his sensational treble in Schalke’s 4-0 victory over Arminia Bielefeld.
Hoppe put himself back in the shop window in the summer with a string of impressive showings for the USMNT in the Gold Cup, where he made five appearances and scored the winning goal in the USA’s 1-0 quarter-final triumph over Jamaica.
The youngster also displayed adaptability and versatility that would catch Mallorca’s eye, when he was deployed on the flanks during the tournament after he had already performed admirably in a more traditional, advanced role.
Following their relegation, Schalke needed to generate some cash to balance the books and rumors surrounding Hoppe’s future quickly started to swirl at the onset of the new domestic campaign in Europe.
Hoppe was linked to several Premier League outfits in England before Mallorca made their move and the California-born starlet joins a club with a distinct American flavor in Spain.
Mallorca is owned by American Robert Sarver, who also owns the NBA’s Phoenix Stars. Alongside Sarver, his compatriots Steve Nash and ex-U.S.A. international Stuart Holden also hold minority stakes in the club.
Hoppe started his soccer career with the LA Galaxy academy before he left for Schalke in 2019 via stints with California United Strikers and Barça Residency Academy Arizona. He has played five times for the USMNT since making his debut in a friendly against Switzerland in May.
— Matthew Hoppe (@MatthewHoppe9) September 1, 2021