United States forward Terrence Boyd has had a busy couple months with the national team. He made his debut for Jurgen Klinsmann's senior side in February when he came on as a late substitute in the team's historic win against Italy.
A month later, he joined the U-23 squad for their ill-fated Olympic qualifying tournament. Boyd scored two goals in the heartbreaking draw with El Salvador that eliminated the United States.
Now he's back in Germany, scoring bags of goals for Borussia Dortmund's reserve squad while working to break into the Bundesliga-leading first team.
Boyd took the time to answer a few of my questions about his club ambitions, Klinsmann and the disappointment of Olympic qualifying.
Christopher Hall: Obviously, we've got to start with the U.S. elimination from Olympic qualifying. You scored two goals in the final match against El Salvador, but the team fell just short. What was that last match like? The highs of your goals as well as the low of the result?
Terrence Boyd: It was an intensive match, I guess for neutral fans it was nice to watch, but for us it was one of the most disappointing things we have felt yet. Of course, it's nice to play and score for the USA, but unfortunately we didn't win. We didn't make the qualification because of the loss vs. Canada, since [we all] had a real good game against El Salvador.
CH: What was the mood like in the locker room just after the match?
TB: The mood in the locker room was depressing. Everybody was just calm and tried to realize what just happened. Later on, Jurgen Klinsmann came in to console us and said we did a great job and really fought for our country and that we lost the tournament already against Canada.
CH: You came on as a substitute in the U.S. win against Italy. What was it like to run onto the field for the senior side for the first time?
TB: I was happy; that's a moment you will never forget in your entire life. So it was a big honor to represent the USA and it was even better coming off the pitch with a win against Italy.
CH: Was Jurgen Klinsmann a footballing hero for you growing up in Germany?
TB: Jurgen Klinsmann was and still is a big deal in Germany, since he was one of the best German strikers ever and won the World Cup in 1990. So it's quite awkward to suddenly meet him personally, and he is a great guy and a good coach as we know.
CH: When did you first meet Klinsmann?
TB: Well, at the beginning of February, he texted me a message and a few days later called me and told me that I'm being scouted every match and that I have to keep working since I am on his radar. The week before the match, he called me again and said I'm going to Italy.
CH: What was that like?
TB: I was quite excited when I talked to him for the first time, since I only knew him from television to that day.
CH: Let’s talk about your club career. You worked your way through Hertha Berlin’s youth set-up, but signed your first professional contract with Borussia Dortmund. Why the switch, and how have you found the past year at Dortmund?
TB: It was definitely the right decision to move to Borussia Dortmund. I knew it wouldn't be easy with strikers like Lewandowski and Barrios up front, but I'm always saying it's the hard competition that makes you better, and if you want to be one of the best, you have to compete with the best. Until now, it's a great season for me with the reserve team and thanks to my coach, David Wagner, I had a big development.
CH: You're scoring goals in the reserves and have made the bench at Dortmund once this season. Are you happy with your progress within the club to this point?
TB: I'm satisfied with the progress I made this season so far. I scored many goals, improved my game, get to train with the first team and I'm looking forward to the next step next season.
CH: You grew up in Germany. If the German national team called you up, how tempted would you be to switch?
TB: I am totally committed to the US national team. USA is my heart and a great honor that's worth it to fight for on the pitch.
CH: Which will mean more? Your first goal for Borussia Dortmund’s first team or your first goal for Klinsmann’s senior U.S. side?
TB: I don't really care for which team I will score first. I'm just hoping that I'm scoring many goals for the club and national team side in the upcoming years.