17 Jun Barça Residency Academy Striker Matthew Hoppe Signs with FC Schalke 04
June 17. 2019
4:07 PM MDT
Casa Grande, Arizona – Barca Residency Academy standout Matthew Hoppe has signed his first professional contract with FC Schalke 04, a club based in Gelsenkirchen, Germany that competes in the country’s top league, the Bundesliga.
Hoppe, 18, will begin his professional career with the Schalke U-19 team with ambitions of making it to the first team. “I plan on learning their system and style of play as fast as possible,” said Hoppe. “Being the hardest working on and off the field and taking care of my body through proper nutrition and rest.”
Matthew Hoppe has had a decorated two-year career at Barca Residency Academy. He joined the Academy in its inaugural 2017-18 season and quickly emerged as one of the top strikers in the nation.
In the 2017-18 U.S. Soccer Development Academy season, Hoppe was the fourth leading goal scorer in the U-16/17 age group scoring an impressive 24 goals in 30 games in his first season as a striker. He helped lead Barca Residency Academy to a third-place finish in the DA Playoffs, earned DA West Conference Best XI honors, and was named a 2018 United Soccer Coaches Youth All-American along with former teammate Julian Araujo who currently plays for the LA Galaxy.
This season has been no different for the Barca Residency Academy standout. Hoppe scored an incredible 29 goals on the season, best in the nation for the U-18/19 age group, and his 1.45 goal-per-match average was top among players with at least five appearances. Hoppe has logged an impressive five hat-tricks this season, two coming in one weekend on the road in back-to-back games against Nomads SC and LA Galaxy.
“Barca has given me the opportunity to be totally immersed in a soccer environment, through the training sessions, workouts, and overall lifestyle,” he said. “This academy gave me a stepping stone to actually reach my goals.”
Hoppe and the Barca Residency Academy U-19 squad are slated to kick off in the 2019 DA Playoffs in Oceanside, California on tomorrow, June 17. They are the no. 2 overall seed and will look to cap off their legacy with a National Championship.
Hoppe, who was originally committed to San Diego State University, will join FC Schalke on July 1, 2019. He follows the footsteps of 20-year-old American, Weston McKennie, who is a rising star on Schalke’s first team.
Hoppe is the third player to go pro straight from Barça Residency Academy. With plenty of young talent at the Academy, he is one of many to come.