La Masia: Konrad de la Fuente

Back in 2011, Ben Lederman became the first American to get a spot in Barcelona's fabled academy. The thought that an American could make it at one of the most successful clubs in the world after working their way through the academy was still a foreign idea, as Christian Pulisic had yet to break through at Borussia Dortmund and Weston McKennie hadn't even left for Schalke yet. Seven years later and one transfer ban later, an unfortunate ruling for Lederman, the teenager moved to Gent in Belgium and the hopes of an American playing for Barcelona's first team shifted to Konrad de la Fuente, a player that is already closer to that goal than you think.

He was born in Miami, Florida on July 16, 2001. His family is originally from Haiti and although he was born in Miami, his family moved to Spain early in his life and he joined the Marcet Soccer Academy in Barcelona soon after arriving in Europe. He was discovered by youth powerhouse CF Damm as a 10-year-old and he spent one season there before moving to La Masia.

Like the majority of La Masia prospects, he didn't start getting noticeable attention until the past two seasons while playing for Juvenil B, Juvenil A and in the UEFA Youth League. He has played a pivotal part of this season's Youth League campaign, starting in all nine matches at right wing before a heartbreaking elimination on penalties to Chelsea in the semi-finals. While he finished that competition with one goal and two assists, his runs were vital to breaking open defenses as his teammates along the front line Alejandro Marqués and Ansu Fati reaped the benefits with goals.

Still just a 17-year-old, he is already getting looks for Barcelona B. He made his debut under Francisco Pimienta in December with a 12 minute cameo on the left wing against Valencia B. He made appearances on the bench in two other matches and it's expected that he'll make the jump to Barcelona B next season, regardless of which league they play in.

He gets the most attention as a prospect for the United States but he's also largely been a mystery to most U.S. fans while living in Spain. While he has suited up for Catalan youth teams on occasion, he has been a part of the United States youth set-up since the age of 14. Living in Spain has often made him unavailable for major international tournaments as well as off the radar of coaches, but he has been in training camps at the U-14, U-16, U-18 levels and most recently with the U-20s where he scored a goal against France in a friendly; the U.S. certainly know what they have on their hands.

16-year-old Fati on the left wing seems to have the higher ceiling as a prospect, but de la Fuente has been improving at a steady pace and his ability to cut in off that right wing with his right foot as well as getting to the touchline make him a menace. He will be a professional, there is little doubt in that, but the question remains is whether or not his chances come at Barcelona. A trial by fire with Barcelona B next season will give him plenty of chances to make that leap and if things go right, it could mean a spot in the first team someday.