Bayern Munich youngster Tillman earns first USA call-up after switching allegiance from Germany

By Sports Desk May 21, 2022

Bayern Munich youngster Malik Tillman has been called up by the United States for the first time.

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has featured seven times for Bayern in all competitions this season, albeit just one of those appearances coming from the start of a match.

Tillman had previously represented Germany at various age levels and earned his fourth cap for the Under-21 side in March.

However, he revealed this week he had switched allegiance from Germany to the USA, the country of his father's birth, and was named in their latest squad on Friday.

There are 10 MLS-based players in Gregg Berhalter's 27-man squad, though there is no place for Chicago Fire goalkeeper Gaga Slonina after he made a U-turn on his Poland call-up.

The 18-year-old, who has yet to appear for either country, has subsequently declared for the USA and explained his decision in a social media post.

"My heart is American," he wrote on Instagram. "This country has given me and my family all the opportunities I could ask for. 

"It's pushed me and supported me through good and bad. I understand the privilege of wearing the badge, and the only time I'll put my head down is to kiss it. 

"America is home and that's who I'm going to represent."

USA are without a number of key players for their June fixtures, with Sergino Dest, Chris Richards and Giovanni Reyna among those to miss out through injury.

Berhalter's side face Morocco and Uruguay in friendlies next month before beginning their CONCACAF Nations League defence with games against Grenada and El Salvador.

The fixtures will also act as preparation for the 2022 World Cup, where they are in a group alongside England, Iran and one of Wales, Scotland or Ukraine.

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