Middlesbrough signed American striker Matthew Hoppe last summer but amid a continued struggle for game time, he was sent out on loan again for this season.
Middlesbrough recruited the 22-year-old from Spanish side RCD Mallorca in August 2022. He has been prolific for Boro’s U21s but in his six first-team appearances for the club, he’s yet to find the back of the net.
Hoppe spent a spell in Scotland with Hibernian over the second half of last season, notching a goal and two assists in nine outings. Upon his return from Easter Road though, he was sent out again for the 2023/24 campaign.
The striker has returned to the United States, penning a season-long deal with MLS side San Jose Earthquakes in a bid to find some game time and develop away from Middlesbrough and Championship football.
Life out on loan
Since returning to the United States, Hoppe has had to bide his time for a chance. He made his debut in a 3-0 defeat against Sporting Kansas City, coming on at half time. A brief 19-minute outing against LA Galaxy followed before he remained an unused substitute in the next three games.
However, against Portland Timbers last month, Hoppe has handed his first start. He took the chance to impress too, scoring the Earthquakes’ only goal while they fell to a 2-1 defeat.
A drop out of the starting XI followed despite his goal but the Middlesbrough loanee scored for the second game in a row as Kris Leach’s side drew 1-1 with Nashville. Hoppe then returned to the side against Minnesota United at the start of this month but wasn’t able to keep his goalscoring run going as they drew 1-1 once again.
While Hoppe has had to wait for a shot in the starting lineup, he’s made good on his chances of late. His deal lasts the full season, so he’ll be hoping to really kick on away from Middlesbrough after managing two goals in his last three outings.