After drawing inspiration from this week’s White House visit to honour their 2013 MLS Cup championship run, Sporting Kansas City’s star Englishman Dom Dwyer has reiterated his ambition to represent the US national team in the future.
A former Norwich City trainee, Dwyer first arrived in the US in 2009 to play at the college level, before going on to be selected 16th overall by Sporting KC in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft after a productive junior year at the University of South Florida.
After playing a crucial role in the club’s 2013 play-off run, the dynamic striker has established himself as one of the deadliest finishers in MLS this season, with 20 goals in 30 games making him the league’s second-highest scorer.
Having received his green card in 2012, he would be eligible to don the stars and stripes in 2017, and there is interest on both sides about making a potential switch happen.
‘I love this country,’ Dwyer told MLSsoccer.com. ‘I love my life here and obviously the league is growing so fast. It's definitely a good place to be and obviously the [US] men's national team are growing very fast
‘I've had my eyes set on it and it's up there in my mind, so I guess we'll see how I progress in the next few years, and hopefully I make the grade.
‘I'm on track,’ he continued. ‘February 2017 – Valentine's Day – is when I should be eligible for my passport, so that's definitely a day I'm looking forward to. And I guess we'll see from there how I progress.’
Dwyer found opportunities stateside that eluded him in England, where he was released from Norwich’s academy after a series of foot injuries hampered his development, but the 24-year-old believes that he was unlucky not to make the breakthrough back home.
‘I don't know, honestly. Maybe it was them missing, maybe it was me progressing late,’ he said. ‘You get opportunities here and there and it's a very small window – you have be lucky and be good at the same time.
‘It was kind of a last resort to get a college degree. The doctors told me I wouldn't be able to play, that I wouldn't have a career in soccer, so my plan was to get a scholarship, get a free degree and play, and then go into life. I managed to keep myself healthy and all those problems seemed to go away – touch wood – and here I am.’
Dwyer has drawn interest from England over the past year, having trained with Charlton Athletic last winter ahead of a proposed loan move which failed to materialise, while also being linked to Brentford during the final weeks of August.
A transfer back across the Atlantic would complicate his road to US citizenship, but the West Sussex-native is just taking things step by step at this point.
‘There are teams that have come in here and there, but I'm happy right now. I'm sure this offseason will be interesting,’ he said. ‘Things change and you never really know. You just have to go with it and if Kansas City decide that they would like to keep me, I don't think that's a bad scenario either.
‘I'm just enjoying myself now and riding the wave, and hopefully going on to bigger and better things,’ he added, before nodding in the direction of his USMNT-starring teammates Graham Zusi and Matt Besler. ‘And hopefully joining a few of these guys on the national team.’