USMNT midfielder Booth signs for Leicester
Booth, whose older brother Taylor plays with Bayern Munich‘s reserve team, first caught the eye of Leicester in February, when he was playing with the U.S. U-17s in a tournament in England. Booth had been linked with Tottenham Hotspur, but when the Foxes expressed their interest — helped by the fact that the player holds an Italian passport — Booth was impressed with what he saw.
“It was just a really good first impression with the club and the players and the coaching staff,” Booth told ESPN. “I just really enjoyed it from the start.”
Booth counts former Barcelona midfielder Andres Iniesta as his favorite player to watch growing up, and he feels that his best position is in the center of midfield. But it was older brother Taylor who proved to be even more of an inspiration when he signed with the Bavarians.
“[Taylor] paved the way for me, definitely,” he said. “He’s the one that made me want to come over overseas. He gave me that drive. I just saw what it took to come over [to Europe], how hard he had to work, and I just kind of followed.”
Booth spent the last two years with Real Salt Lake‘s academy in the U.S., and it gave him a glimpse of what it was like to be away from home, immersed in the sport.
The midfielder has already arrived in England and had to adopt a unique training regimen after he was put under quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic.
With the help of a laptop, and in communication with one of the club’s coaches, he would train in the backyard of the host family he was staying with for 60-90 minutes at a time. He then graduated to sessions at Leicester’s training ground.
“It was just getting used to it the first two weeks, training every morning online,” he said. “But I was so excited to like finally be with the full team.”
Booth has been spending time with Leicester’s U-18 and U-23 team, and expects to be bouncing between the two teams this season, though he hopes to stick with the higher age group. Either way he’ll follow his brother’s advice.
“He just said, ‘Work hard every day, get to know the boys, and you’ll be fine,'”Booth said of his brother.