Fulham youngster Emerson Hyndman has spoken of his delight at making his international debut for the US national team in Wednesday night’s 1-0 friendly win over the Czech Republic in Prague.
One of six uncapped players named to an experimental 22-man squad by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, the 18-year-old midfielder would enter the match with 20 minutes left to make his senior bow before even representing the under-18 side.
It marks a remarkable month for Hyndman, having only made his first professional appearance for Fulham at the beginning of this season, and the promising teenager was understandably proud to have been given the opportunity by Klinsmann.
‘It’s been an honour to work with people like Jurgen Klinsmann, all his staff and people that have played in the World Cup who I was watching on TV. I’ve learned so much under them,’ he said.
‘To come on tonight and play with them was a proud moment for me. Being so young it’s a privilege being brought into a camp like this. I’ll take experience, I’ll take anything that I’ve ever been through by Klinsmann, by any of the guys the next time I come.'
On his emotions ahead of entering the game, Hyndman added: ‘The heart beats faster that’s for sure. When the name gets called, it was like, “Whoa, it’s actually me.”
‘It happened real quick. As soon as I got in the game I just forgot about it and tried to play. I just remember Klinsmann saying, “You’ll do great, don’t worry. That was pretty much it. It was all positive and I tried to carry that on into the game.”’
The grandson of former FC Dallas head coach Schellas Hyndman, the Texas-native joined Fulham’s youth academy in 2011 and has enjoyed a fruitful rise through the system since, being an ever-present in the under-18s side’s run to the 2014 FA Youth Cup final, before making his first-team breakthrough his season.
Tipped to eventually become a central figure in the US’s run to the 2018 World Cup, Hyndman still has a lot of growing to do and potential to fulfil, but there’s no doubt that his future for both club and country is extremely bright.