Matthew Hoppe’s breakout start to 2021 has earned the forward the first personal accolade of his career.
Five goals in six games earned the 19 year-old Bundesliga Rookie of the Month for January. Hoppe beat out SC Freiburg’s Ermedin Demirović and Arminia Bielefeld’s Ritsu Doan for the award.
“There have been some moments where I’ve been able to take a step back and look at what’s happened,” Hoppe told a Media Round Table earlier this week. “My dream is coming true and so it’s been special for me.”
The American has been a rare bright spot in a troubling season for relegation-threatened Schalke 04, bursting onto the scene with a hat-trick in the club’s only win of the season. Hoppe followed his performance against Hoffenheim with goals in his next two games, quickly becoming Schalke’s leading scorer for the season.
Now a regular in Christian Gross’ starting XI, Hoppe has started each of the club’s last six matches. Schalke rewarded the forward with his first pro-contract through the 2022-23 season earlier this month.
“I am extremely thankful to everyone at Schalke for giving me this chance,” Hoppe said after extending his stay in Gelsenkirchen. “Now I want to play my part in us being successful again.”
Schalke currently sit bottom of the Bundesliga table and are nine points from safety. They travel to take on Union Berlin on Saturday.