Konrad de la Fuente debuts for Barcelona, becoming first American to play for historic club

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Nineteen-year-old Konrad de la Fuente became the first American to ever play for Barcelona’s first team on Saturday, coming on as a substitute in the friendly against Gimnastic. The Miami native came on to start the second half in place of Sergio Busquets. 

He looked lively during his time on the pitch and appeared to have a goal, but it was ruled offside. It’s quite the significant accomplishment as US Soccer has yet another talent at a major European club. With de la Fuente at Barca, Christian Pulisic at Chelsea, Gio Reyna at Dortmund and Weston McKennie at Juventus, American soccer has more players at the world’s best teams than ever before.

Primarily a member of Barcelona Juvenil A youth team, de la Fuente has already appeared for Barcelona B, which is the team he’s expected to be with this season. But, with changes to the squad and not many new players coming in, maybe he will get his chance to stick with the first team. In July, he signed a contract extension with the club.

“I think it was a really important moment for me and my family because it has always been my goal to stay at Barca and become successful,” de la Fuente said about his extension this summer to Barca TV+. “Hopefully I will make my dream come true.” 

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And he did that (sort of) on Saturday.

De la Fuente joined Barca when he was 10 years old, and then he played for the Infantil B team in 2013. A U.S. youth international since he was 14, he’s played for 11 different teams inside the club, winning titles with four of them. 

He was also a member of the USA’s U-20 World Cup during the summer of 2019. 

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