Philadelphia Union 2011: 4 Players with Potential To Play Internationally
The goal of any professional soccer player is to one day suit up for their national team. Whether it be for a youth team, B team or the senior team, playing for your country is an honor and privilege. On the Philadelphia Union there are four players who, with some hard work and determination, will one day be on the pitch for their respective nation.
Let's get the obvious one out of the way at the beginning.
We all know the story of Freddy. Professional by the age of 14, he was suppose to be the next big thing in American soccer. He seemed to be following that path when he was transferred to Benifica in 2007.
It's from there that his career started tanking. Loan moves to France, Greece, and the 2nd Turkish division followed in the years to come with none of them willing to take him on a permanent basis. Many see his move back to the MLS as a huge step back but it may be just what he needs. Consistent playing time on top of his impressive Gold Cup performances warrants a call-up to try and be that creative mid Klinsmann is looking for.
A young dynamic striker, Mwanga has the ability to suit up for DR Congo but has expressed his desire to play for the stars and stripes. The 20-year-old was the first overall pick in the 2010 Super Draft by the Union and has show flashes of the player he could be. He has scored 12 goals in his 49 career appearances for the Union. And while the .24 goals a game may not seem impressive, he is still young and if he continues to improve and develop, he could be a contributor to a national team, whether it be DR Congo or the USA.
A promising young striker, McInerney may be the answer to the lack of depth in the U.S attacking pool. A generation Adidas signee, McInerney has thrived in the youth system of the national team. He has scored 11 goals for the U-17 team, and a goal in his only cap with the U-20 team so far. While he is still trying to settle in the MLS, Jack is only 19 years old, and with some more seasoning in the MLS as well as with the U-20 team, McInerney could become the scoring force the National team has missed since the retirement of Brian McBride.
The 21-year-old defender has taken a roundabout route to the MLS. One year of college at UNC Williams and he left to find a team overseas. Though he had trials at Vfl Wolfsburg and FC Twente, he was unable to impress enough and was forced back state-side. A rise up the U.S. professional ranks followed from there with stops in the developmental league and USL second division before landing with the Union. Between all that he played in the U-17 and U-20 World cup. With the core of the U.S. back line aging, (Chereundolo, Onyewu, DeMerit, Bocanegra), the National team will need young defenders like Williams to step up and take their places.