Former DC United youngster, Griffin Yow, who joined KVC Westerlo of the Pro League in July 2022, is looking to continue building after making his European debut during a playoff game on Sunday afternoon.
Nine months after joining the recently promoted Belgian team in a summer transfer the young attacker made his competitive European debut with a seven-minute performance at the tail-end of their wild loss against Cercle Brugge.
“I’ve played in friendlies and scrimmages [this season], the Virginia native told Yanks Abroad, “but this was my first league game.”
Yow had previously made the bench in the latter stage of the regular season, and with Westerlo down by a couple of goals against Cercle Brugge, head coach Jonas De Roeck thought it would be a good baptism of fire for the young American.
The team was already trailing by what turned out to be the final score, 5-3, when the 20-year-old winger joined the action in the 83rd minute. He replaced Westerlo’s hat-trick hero, Dorgeles Nene, but coming into the game so late, he did not have time to make much of an impact.
“It was a really difficult first half,” he said, elaborating “it was disappointing knowing the way we can play, especially coming out in the second half and playing the way we did.
“It was disappointing to have that type of first half, but you live and you learn, move on and take everything we can from this game and move on to the next.”
The 12-times capped USYNT U-17 player feels that his time will soon come, where he’ll hopefully break into the starting XI for Westerlo next season.
“I think [my debut] a big step in the right direction,” he grinned. “Its been a good time this season, preparing myself mentally and physically to get to this moment.”
“Its very very positive for me,” he continued, “but take everything one step at a time and focus on the next task at hand.”
Although now too old for the United States U-20 team that will compete in the World Cup in Argentina in a few weeks, Yow is hoping for a future national team call-up, with the 2024 Olympics one potential target in his sights.
“We haven’t had a U-23 camp in a while but I’m just pushing for that for the next time there is a camp, for sure.”
Westerlo will travel to take on Standard Liege on Saturday evening where the youngster may be facing off against fellow American, Marlon Fossey, at the Sclessin.