It’s safe to say that U.S. Men’s National Team forward Terrence Boyd is enjoying his current stint with the full team.
The 21-year-old, who was a part of the unsuccessful U23 CONCACAF Olympic qualifying campaign, was a somewhat surprising inclusion in the final 23-man roster for the U.S. MNT’s current five-game stretch that culminates with two World Cup qualifiers.
For Boyd – one of the German-Americans who caught the eye of head coach Jurgen Klinsmann – simply being in his second homeland is a chance to enjoy himself.
“I’m always enjoying the States when I get here with the national team for camp,” he told TopDrawerSoccer.com. “It’s always for me, it’s a big thing to be here and just enjoy it.
“Every time I’m here, I discover new things. It’s quite cool.”
Despite having never played a first team match for his German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund, Boyd was in the starting lineup in the first of the current five game run, leading the line against Scotland in the team’s 5-1 win on May 26.
He also came on as a substitute in the 4-1 loss to Brazil, but he wasn’t on the game day roster in the USA’s 0-0 draw against Canada.
Boyd’s potential is the primary reason he was included on the roster, and he’s already earned praise from his head coach after his energetic performance against Scotland.
“Terrence is one of our promising talents that we’re trying to develop,” Klinsmann said after the Scotland game. “I think Terrence’s work rate was outstanding and his hunger for finishing off chances is tremendous. It’s something that we really love to see and that’s why we keep working with him and giving him those opportunities.”
This past month has afforded Boyd to spend time in plenty of new places, such as Orlando, Florida, Washington, D.C., and even north of the border in Toronto. His time in the nation’s capital was of particular interest to the son of a German mother and American serviceman.
“It’s been really nice,” he said of D.C. “We got to go out during the day, just walk through the city…It’s nice, huge buildings, nice architecture.”
Raised for all but of a year of his life in Germany (he lived in New York when he was an infant), Boyd rose through the youth ranks at Hertha Berlin. He first caught the eye of the U.S. technical staff last year, as he was included in a June 2011 trip to France for a U20 tournament in Vichy. He played twice for the U20s under head coach Tab Ramos.
It was only a few months before that trip that he pursued the possibility of playing international soccer for the United States.
“When I knew I’m going to start playing soccer professionally, then I thought about there might be an opportunity or a chance, but I didn’t have my passport,” he said. “I got it in the beginning of 2011, before I wasn’t able to play for the States. As soon as I got called come into the U20s, that was a dream that came true, and I was happy to be there.”
Later in 2011, he transferred clubs from Hertha Berlin to Borussia Dortmund, although he failed to make a first team appearance for the club that went on to capture the Bundesliga title in 2011-12.
However, he scored 20 goals in 32 games for Dortmund’s reserve team that competed in the Regionalliga Nord, Germany’s fourth division.
His prolific scoring rate earned him a spot on the U.S. U23 CONCACAF qualifying team that failed to make it out of the group stage in Nashville, Tenn. earlier in the year. But Boyd did enough to still impress Klinsmann, earning his spot on this current trip, where he’s the youngest player on the 23-man roster.
But his age hasn’t been a problem, however, as he said the veteran players have welcomed him into the group.
“The guys are doing a great job to integrate the new guys like me,” Boyd said. “Guys like [Michael] Bradley, Clint [Dempsey], Tim Howard, Carlos Bocanegra, everybody’s friendly to each other, it’s cool.”
The very last trip of the month is a World Cup qualifier down in Guatemala, and for Boyd, winning there takes a much higher priority then the three friendlies leading up did.
“I look forward to visiting these countries, the CONCACAF countries,” Boyd said. “For me, the most important thing is we win the two qualifying matches. Yeah friendlies it’s okay, but what matters are the three points and the World Cup qualifying.”
And as far as his club future goes, Boyd said that “he’s about to leave [Dortmund]” in search of first team action in hopes of keeping his spot in the U.S. team. A possible move to Rapid Vienna in Austria is rumored to be on the cards.
No matter where he ends up, the German-American is a bright prospect with the potential of bagging goals in the red, white and blue for years to come.