American Taylor Booth is making huge strides at Dutch side Utrecht, with the 21-year-old midfielder attracting attention from European giants after leaving Bayern Munich

February 4, 2023

He is the new kid on the block. Another American who used the Bundesliga as his right of passage and now could be heading to these shores with Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag among his admirers.
Like Weston McKennie, Tyler Adams and Christian Pulisic before him, Taylor Booth always dreamed of making it big in Europe.

Spotted in the US by Bundesliga scouts, he was invited for trials at Bayern Munich as a 17-year old. It helped he had an Italian passport, courtesy of his father Chad’s heritage, but Booth’s route to the top has had its challenges.


While he learned his trade under Julian Nagelsmann and trained alongside luminaries such as Robert Lewandowski, the young midfielder’s first team pathway was never going to be easy, navigating past Bayern’s stars.

So last year Booth took the bold step to leave. Bayern made him multiple offers to extend his contract and ultimately weren’t happy that he opted to turn down those advances in favour of signing a pre-contract with FC Utrecht in Holland.

Burnley, in the Premier League at the time, and Portuguese clubs had previously shown interest, yet he was advised the Dutch league was a better platform for his technical skills to develop.

Utrecht have never been relegated from the Dutch Eredivisie and is where United boss Ten Hag played and later coached. Indeed, Ten Hag still has strong ties to the club so is well informed on Booth’s capabilities and is believed to be actively monitoring his progress with the 21-year old impressing so far.

In this, his first full season, Booth has already established himself as a crowd favourite having made just 16 appearances, scoring twice and assisting three times. He was named Eredivisie player of the month in November, has been named in Eredevisie Team of the Week on multiple occasions and now the US U19 international is being tipped to earn his first full cap for the States – although Italy could yet stake a claim.

When quizzed on where his national team loyalties lie Booth, who was called up to a USA senior national team’s camp in December 2021, laughed: ‘USA or Italy? Difficult to say categorically at this point because I’ve never been put into a situation where I’ve had to choose. If Italy offered me an international call-up I’d obviously need to seriously think about it – especially if I wasn’t yet on the USA radar. But it’s early days and I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Right now, all I want to do is the best I can for Utrecht, who have given me this opportunity to launch my senior pro career. If I do well for my club, my international career will take care of itself.’

Last week, he was outstanding as Utrecht came from behind to draw 5-5 with title chasing AZ Alkmaar.

It prompted former Holland star Ronald de Boer to tweet: ‘Taylor Booth on a roll. I’m enjoying this player.’

English scouts have noted the 21-year old’s good technique and his energetic, attacking midfield performances and his eye for both creating and scoring goals.

The talent is in his genes. His mother Kelli and dad Chad, an Arsenal fan, were both college footballers while his brother Zach, also a USA youth international, is currently on Leicester City’s books. His determination though is deeper seated. As a baby, Booth had torticollis or ‘flopping neck’ and needed intensive physical therapy to ensure he could breathe and grow properly.

It was really bad,’ his mother Kelli recalled. ‘He went to physical therapy as an infant and he screamed constantly. Sometimes the condition will cure itself, but he had it so bad that he had to do therapy. This kid had to have therapy for the first five months of his life, around the clock, and he was a crybaby who didn’t like getting his neck stretched.

He cried so much that I gave away all his baby clothes and was never going to have another child.

‘I remember saying, ”I hope he’s healthy,” Kelli told Deseret News. ‘So he’s gone from needing physical therapy as a baby to being on the US National Teams and he thinks it’s normal. What he doesn’t realise is that there was a time when I just thought, I hope his lungs work and his brain works.’

The effort is not lost on Booth now though as he continues to create the kind of interest that saw his more illustrious US compatriots move to the Premier League and with a national call up to follow.

His skill set is interesting – the pace, power and technique that could make him not only a standout performer in the English Premier League but also in more technical and tactical leagues like la Liga and Serie A.

In summer it will come as no surprise if English clubs find themselves competing with Spain and Italy’s top clubs in the race for Booth’s signature.