So Pfeffer is going. That much is confirmed. I am going to update my story to clarify that it is not as a replacement for Yedlin.— Jonathan Tannenwald (@thegoalkeeper) July 17, 2014
Earlier today Jonathan Tannenwald of Philly.com reported that after being previously omitted, 19 year old Zach Pfeffer will be invited to play in the league's Homegrown Player Game after USMNT star and former Seattle Homegrown Player DeAndre Yedlin is expected to play in the All-Star Game the same weekend instead of the future star showcase. The Dresher, PA native has 4 appearances with the Union this season.
Pfeffer joins other young stars like the Galaxy's Gyasi Zardes, Colorado's Shane O'Neill, the Crew's Wil Trapp, and current Rookie of the Year frontrunner Harrison Shipp of the Chicago Fire. The HGP's will take on the Timbers's Under-23 reserve side on Monday, August 4th at 10:00 PM. You can watch the match on the WatchESPN app or on MLSSoccer.com.
Currently the attacking midfielder affectionately known as Pfeff Dogg is in Carson, California playing in a trio of friendlies with the US U-20 national team. In two matches against Chile and Bermuda U-20 teams Pfeffer has racked up 2 goals and an assist, including the game-winning goal in a 2-1 win over the Chileans. Pfeffer is primed to be one of the key members of a U-20 USMNT team likely to qualify for next year's U20 World Cup in New Zealand.
(To further reiterate the point of yesterday's article that there is great talent to be found in the Delaware Valley, two of Pfeffer's teammates, Russell Canouse and Zackary Steffen, grew up playing soccer in the Philadelphia area.)
Despite his lack of playing time with the Union this season (81 minutes), Pfeffer's initial omission from the Homegrown Player Game was a curious one. He's seen as one of the most promising young players in MLS, and there are plenty of players (Chivas USA's Caleb Calvert, Portland's Steven Evans, Sporting KC's Jon Kempin) on the roster who've played less than Pfeffer. After signing a professional contract with the Union at the tender age of 15, Pfeffer has spent much of the last 4 seasons quietly developing. He sat on the sidelines during most of his first two years before being loaned out to German Bundesliga club Hoffenheim for all of 2013. Many Union fans figured Pfeffer would see more playing time this season, but under John Hackworth he received only one start.
Pfeffer is one of three Homegrown Players on the Union's roster. The other two, Cristhian Hernandez and Jimmy McLaughlin, were loaned out to USL PRO side Harrisburg at the start of the season.