Caleb Stanko makes pro debut for Freiburg

Caleb Stanko, one of several young Americans whose careers in Germany were set back by knee injuries, debuted for Freiburg in the 79th minute of its 5-0 victory at Barmbek-Ulhenhorst in the German Cup.

Stanko, who started for the USA at the 2013 Under-20 World Cup, moved to Freiburg from Detroit club Vardar in 2011 and worked his way up the club's youth system to the first team but suffered an ACL tear in August 2014.

His injury came three months after he signed a pro contract with Freiburg. He returned to action in the spring and made six starts for Freiburg II.

Stanko, 22, was on the bench for one Bundesliga game in 2013-14 and was on the bench for relegated Freiburg's first game of the 2015-16 season, in the second division. He's eligible for the U.S. U-23s, who enter Olympic qualifying in October.

Goalkeeper Zack Steffen, star of the 2015 U-20s, is also in the Freiburg system.

-- Season debuts of note around Europe: Goalkeepers Tim Howard (Everton) and Brad Guzan (Aston Villa) and central defender Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), all starters in the English Premier League, and Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes) and Rubio Rubio (FC Utrecht), late subs in France and the Netherlands, respectively.
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