Right winger Sal Zizzo signed a three-year contract with German club Hannover, becoming the first member of the U.S. U-20 national team to sign a contract with a European club since the end of the U-20 World Cup in Canada, where it fell in the quarterfinals.
Like long-time Hannover defender Steve Cherundolo, Zizzo grew up in the San Diego, where he also starred at baseball. He spent two years at UCLA but chose to forego the 2007 MLS SuperDraft to hold out for his chances in Europe after the U-20 World Cup.
Zizzo's parents are from Sicily, so he holds an Italian passport, making it easier for him to negotiate a contract in Europe.
Zizzo, who was excellent in the wins over Poland and Brazil, is the third Bruin underclassman to sign with a German Bundesliga club in the last three years. Benny Feilhaber signed with Hamburg after the 2005 U-20 World Cup, and Kamani Hill joined Wolfsburg last winter.
Zizzo is highly regarded by Hannover, which has spent approximately $7 million on transfers during the offseason.
Its big acquisition is German international Mike Hanke from Wolfsburg.
Gaetan Krebs (Racing Strasbourg/FRA)
Sergio Pinto (Alemannia Aachen)
Thomas Kleine (Greuther Fuerth)
Timo Nagy (Wacker Burghausen)
Chavdar Yankov (Slavia Sofia/BUL)
Mike Hanke (Wolfsburg)
Benjamin Lauth (Hamburg)
Sal Zizzo (UCLA)