Hits and Misses from Young Stars

[VIDEO PICKS] A wonder volley by a 20-year-old South African in Belgium, a woeful penalty miss from Neymar in New Jersey, and a nice goal from 12-year-old Ben Lederman for Barcelona, in honor of his U-14 call-up for the USA this weekend.

Neymar is the elder statesman in this bunch, at 20. He’s eight months older than Ayanda Patosi, who scored one the best volleys we’ve seen all year, and eight years older than young Lederman, the first American ever to train at Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy.

Brazil finished tied 1-1 with Colombia in their friendly in the USA on Wednesday. Neymar scored a great goal in the the 63rd minute, but Brazil could've won, if the young star hadn’t showed he could also shank penalties with the best of them in the 81st. After his trademark run up, Neymar misses this penalty so badly the Colombian keeper, and players, feel obligated to console the young phenom …

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One of the most beautiful goals we’ve seen all year scored for Lokeren, in a 2-1 home win over Standard Liege. The ball never hits the ground once Hamdi Harboui receives this free kick, until it’s inside the net. The Tunisian gets the assist, and Patosi makes sure of it with an incredible volley, ending this impressive sequence in the Belgian Pro League last Friday. All once the ref signals you’re ready to be impressed…



Still just 12, Ben Lederman has been enrolled at La Masia for over a year, and on Saturday he’ll be back home in California with the U.S. U-14s training at the Home Depot Center. We’d like to welcome home what we hope is a bright star of the USMNT future by showing off some of his fancy footwork for a Barca youth team this summer, with “un gol de Hollywood” just four minutes in …

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