DC United youngster Kevin Paredes has left his MLS club for German shores, signing a long-term contract with struggling Bundesliga club VfL Wolfsburg.

The speedy wing attacker will remain with the northern German club through summer 2026, after they paid $7.35 million plus performance-based add-ons for his services.

For DC United, Paredes was their 14th home-grown signing back in 2020, and is their fourth academy graduate to be sold to a European team. The transfer fee represents a record amount for an outgoing DC home-grown player.

Wolfsburg sporting director Marcel Schäfer spoke highly of the 18 year-old, who had already made 41 MLS appearances, stating, “We’re very happy that Kevin was quickly convinced by our philosophy and our path, and that he’s joining us.”

“Despite his age he’s already gained some experience at first-team level, and as well as the left wing he can also play in the centre. In addition, he brings pace and dynamism, he’s very agile and nimble on the ball, covers a lot of ground on the pitch and has a really good mentality.”

Internationally, Parades has only previously suited up for the the United States U16 team. Even though he is not in the current U20 camp taking place in Bradenton, Florida, he is still young enough to be eligible for the upcoming U20 CONCACAF Championship in the summer and the subsequent World Cup in Indonesia next year.

How quickly and in what manner he will be integrated into Wolfsburg’s first team is in question; the club disbanded their reserve squad, which would normally be competing in the third or fourth tier of the German soccer pyramid, in 2021. He could still initially play for their U19 team competing in the North/Northwest division of the Under 19 Bundesliga.

Wolfburg’s first team, who have gone close to three months without a win in Bundesliga competition, could certainly use some offensive reinforcements, as they have scored a league’s-worst 17 goals throughout their 20 league games.

Currently, they are two points ahead of the relegation places, however are in crisis and falling fast, staring down the barrel of what would be a humiliating relegation coming one year after qualifying for the Champions League.

As a left-sided player, Paredes would likely fit in either as a wingback when current head coach Florian Kohfeldt opts for a back three, or as a attacking winger in a three-man line behind the main striker. Currently this would put him in competition with Jérôme Roussillon, Renato Steffen and Gian-Luca Waldschmidt for minutes, all of whom have spent significant time on the left this season.

The team is back in action following the international break, on February 6 against last-place Fürth.

By David Smith

I'm YA's resident doctor, but not the kind of doctor you would want giving you an examination anywhere outside of a lecture hall. I've been YA's feet-on-the-ground in Germany since 2008, have an affinity for overly verbose descriptions of irrelevant minutiae, keep an eye on YAs in most of the destinations on mainland Europe, and watch a whole lot of Serie A.

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