American teenager Andrew Giallombardo will be holding together the Saints midfield against Manchester United tonight.

After being spotted captaining the US under-17 side 17 months ago, the defensive midfielder from New York finally received international clearance in time to make his Saints debut in the same week that David Beckham signed for LA Galaxy.

Now, after helping his new teammates beat Stockport County to set up tonight's FA Youth Cup fourth round tie at the home of Hyde United, the 17-year-old is preparing to face Manchester United under-18s.

He said: "Manchester United have such a great reputation all over the world. They were one of the few English teams I could watch on ESPN back in the States so it's very exciting. This game is all we can talk about at the moment."

Born in Manhattan and brought up in Brooklyn, Giallombardo always preferred soccer to the traditional American sports.

Read the full story in today's Daily Echo