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Sciaretta's Scouting Report

Chelsea's Kyle Scott Joins U.S. U-18s for Tourney

A 16-year-old with tremendous upside and dual U.S. - English citizenship, Chelsea's Kyle Scott is a teenager to keep an eye on. American Soccer Now's Brian Sciaretta chatted with the midfielder about his game.

BY Brian Sciaretta Posted
October 07, 2013
2:36 PM
WHEN UNITED STATES U-18 national team coach Javier Perez announced his roster for an upcoming tournament in France, many of the players hailed domestically from developmental academy teams and were veterans from U.S. Soccer’s residency program.

When scrolling through the resumes of the players on this squad, one name stands out: Kyle Scott, a 16-year-old who is currently within the youth setup of 2012 Champions League winners Chelsea FC. (He is No. 13 in the photo above.)

This will not be the first time that Scott has suited up for the United States. In previous years he has played with the country’s U-15 national team, and his older brother, Kristian Scott, currently with Sunderland, has also played with the U.S. U-18 team.

Kyle Soctt and the U-18 squad will be heading to Limoges, France this week to play in a four-team tournament that includes France, Czech Republic, and Poland. He is one of the youngest players on the roster and is very much looking forward to the challenge.

“My expectations are high, which is normal,” Scott told American Soccer Now. “I know that the U.S. have a very good group of players and I look forward to catching up with some of the lads again. I’m not too sure if I will know all the people going to this tournament, as I'm going with the year above my normal age. But it will be good seeing and playing with new and older players."

"I wouldn't say I've been in contact a lot with any U.S. staff," he added. "I met Javier, the coach, a couple weeks ago just to have a chat and see where things were.”

It is rare for American players under 18 to have the opportunity to sign with English clubs, but Scott has been able to do so through his English-American dual nationality. He was born in England, the son of an American mother and an English father. Growing up he frequently traveled back to the United States to see his grandparents and family in Chicago. As he has progressed in his career, however, it has been more difficult for him to travel back to the United States.

England’s youth national teams are also aware of Scott and last year invited him to play for the Three Lions' U-16 national team in a friendly. He is excited to be joining the U.S. U-18 and considers the opportunity an honor. He is, however, keeping the door open to playing for England again in the future.

He insists at this point he has no preference between England and United States, but since his only youth national team games for either country so far have not been in official CONCACAF, UEFA, or FIFA competitions, he can play for each country without having to file a one-time switch.

“I'm happy to play for a country,” Scott explained. “It's an honor to play for any country at a young age, but I'm still young and I will keep my options open and see what happens. I played for England U-16’s last year against Germany and then suffered a broken leg. I also went to a camp for U.S. up in California for the U-15s last year. I enjoyed both as much as each other. Both teams were good and had a lot of talented players.”

The upcoming camp is going to be even more meaningful for Scott since it yet another step in his comeback from a broken leg he suffered in February. The injury came in a game against Fulham shortly after he returned from international duty with England’s U-16 team.

The day after the injury he had screws surgically attached to his leg, and then another procedure four months later to have the screws removed. The recovery process has been hard for Scott since the injury came at a time when he had been playing very well for Chelsea’s youth teams.

His success at the club was well documented in England. In May, the Daily Mail reported that Juventus, Real Madrid, and Barcelona were all interested in Scott. In July, the same publication said that Scott was opting out of signing with Chelsea to keep the door open for the Spanish giants.

Now fully recovered, Scott is now simply focused on resuming his career at Chelsea.

“It was a setback for me personally and I knew it would be tough,” Scott said. “It was harder knowing I had a good five months out so I had to make sure I stayed focused and kept working hard every day to get better. Personally I felt I worked hard throughout that patch and now it's shown by me [being] 100 percent fit. I also had the best treatment I could have had, so I am grateful for that because that's big part why I recovered so well and quick.”

This upcoming season will be a transitional year for Scott as he could find himself within several different levels within Chelsea’s system. His age group is currently the U-16 level but so far this season he has also been occasionally jumping up to the U-18 team.

The competition among players at Premier League clubs is always intense but at a club with the stature of Chelsea it is especially heightened—even at the youth level.

“My goals for this season our just to keep improving and improving and hopefully getting regular games for the U-18s toward the end of the season," Scott said. "And maybe getting involved with the U-21s for training sessions. It's tough because Chelsea is a massive club. They have so much talent in the academy, so everyone's always fighting for their place—which is good because personally that's what football is about."

"You have to earn your right to play.”

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