Speaking to MLSsoccer.com, Liverpool starlet Marco Pelosi has revealed his pride at earning his first US international call-up this month.
Pelosi, 20, was one of 14 uncapped players named to the 28-man squad for the USA’s first training camp of 2015, with head coach Jurgen Klinsmann opting for a mix of World Cup veterans and Olympic hopefuls.
A sprained MCL suffered in a reserve game before camp began means he faces a battle to make his debut in the February 8 friendly against Panama at the StubHub Center, but the California-native is remaining positive.
“It's frustrating [not being able to play], of course, because everyone wants to come and make a good first impression,” he said. “I don't want to rule [the Panama game] out, but I don't know how long I'm going to be training before that game. I don't want to risk anything a go back [to England] with another injury. We'll just take it day by day.”
Signing for Liverpool in November 2011 after catching the attention of scouts while captaining the US at the Under-17 World Cup, Pelosi would go on to establish himself as a regular for the club’s Under-18s and Under-21s over the coming seasons, before suffering a gruesome leg break in February 2013.
Sidelined for 14 months, there were even doubts over whether the Reds youngster would be able to make a full recovery but, after returning to the pitch in recent months, he now feels back to his best.
“Doctors over [in England] thought I was in a car accident, because of how much force came through in the tackle, because I had some problems with compartment syndrome,” he said. “It was bad. A lot of force came through it, which probably made it take longer [to heal].
“After training for a few weeks and months and starting to play again, I fell I've been back to myself, for the most part. I think I'm in a good place and I just want to keep pushing and do my best over there.”
A versatile midfielder, who is also just as comfortable at left-back, Pelosi knows it will be tough to break into Liverpool’s star-studded squad in the future, but believes that the club’s noted youth policy gives him an advantage.
“They're a big club, so they're always going to sign players -- you know that going there,” he added. “But they believe in their youth, because there's always young guys making their debuts.
“I think it's possible, so I'm going to just do my best and hope for the best.”