By Peter Weis@PeterVicey

Confirmed: Heidenheim snatch up US-eligible defender Lennard Maloney on a free

German second-division side 1. FC Heidenheim confirmed the capture of Borussia Dortmund reserve defender Lennard Maloney on Wednesday evening. 
Two seasons playing for BVB II raised Lennard Maloney's profile sufficiently enough to make him a targeted transfer of 2. Bundesliga side 1. FC Heidenheim. The BaWü club confirmed the capture of the 22-year-old on a free transfer for next season.

The Berlin-born Maloney, who is eligible to represent the United States through his father and has done so at youth level, came up through the 1. FC Union Berlin youth ranks. Not able to get his way into the Eisernen first-team, Union offloaded him to the BVB after a loan stint with Chemnitzer FC in the spring of 2020 didn't pan out.

Maloney has been a regular feature for BVB II and was called up to the senior side four times this season by club trainer Marco Rose. He featured only briefly as a late match sub in round nine's away fixture at Bielefeld and the round 26 reverse fixture against the DSC. His season with the reserves has seen him increase his estimated market value by an estimated €100,000 in the latest transfermarkt listings.

"Maloney can play all positions in the back-four and can also be used as a six," FCH Chairmen Holger Sanwald noted in a statement, "He's seen as an important leader in the third division. We've observed that he's a mentality player who gives it all until the very last second. That fits ideally with our philosophy."

"I'm very excited for the opportunity to prove myself at a second division level," Maloney remarked in his own statement, "I'll give it all to get myself integrated quickly over the summer and aid the team with my strengths."

Those who have not had the opportunity to check Maloney out since his Union days will have noticed that 1.88 m (6 ft. 2 in.) tall defender has tacked on quite a bit of extra bulk in the last two years. He's definitely a more physically robust player than the one who appeared for the USMNT's U20 squad in 2018.

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