U.S. U17 midfielder Charles Renken and forward Joseph-Claude Gyau have joined Bundesliga's 1899 Hoffenheim.
The pair, close friends, will join Hoffenheim next month. For the first year, they will shuttle back and forth between Germany and the Vancouver Whitecaps' residency school. Gyau, 16, and Renken, 15, will not return to the U17 team in Bradenton, Fla.
"The key to the decision made by the boys and their families is that Hoffenheim constructed an outstanding path for their development as players," agent Dan Segal told ESPNsoccernet. "During their first year, they will be permitted to split time between Germany and Vancouver, where they will attend school and be trained to prepare for a full-time adjustment to Germany the following year. Thereafter, they will be part of one of the best youth systems in the world at a club that emphasizes the promotion of youth players."
Hoffenheim finished seventh in the Bundesliga last season. The newly promoted club surprised all by leading the league at the halfway mark. Part of the dip was caused by a knee injury suffered by St. Louis product Vedad Ibisevic which ruled him out of the second half of the season.
Zac Lee Rigg, Goal.com
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