English championship side Middlesbrough is still pursuing Mallorca and United States forward Matthew Hoppe, though he continues to draw interest both from Europe and MLS, including the San Jose Earthquakes, sources told ESPN.
The 21-year-old, like so many fringe U.S. players, is desperate to find playing time ahead of the 2022 World Cup, which begins in November. Minutes were hard to come by last season following his move to Mallorca as Hoppe was unable to find the net in just seven league and cup appearances, with injuries and a bout of COVID-19 hindering his ability to get more opportunities.
The Quakes had previously made an offer for Hoppe, as reported by MLSSoccer.com, but have made an improved proposal — a loan with an option to make the move permanent — in the last few days, according to a source. It was rejected due to it being less than a proposal from English Championship side Middlesbrough, which was also turned down. The source added that Hoppe’s preference is to stay in Europe. Boro remain interested in the forward, as do two sides from Belgium.
Hoppe started his professional career with German side Schalke 04, scoring six goals in 24 league and cup appearances during the 2020-21 campaign that ended in the team being relegated. On Jan. 9, he scored a hat trick against TSG Hoffenheim, becoming the first American to do so in the Bundesliga.
Later in 2021, he made his U.S. debut at that year’s Gold Cup, making six appearances and scoring the lone goal in the 1-0 quarterfinal win over Jamaica.