Gold Cup: Corey Ashe heads back to Houston Dynamo without a cap, USMNT hopes still high

HOUSTON – Corey Ashe went into his first national team camp intent on showing what he can do. And while that opportunity never came in a game situation, the left back is confident that he still made a good impression.

Ashe returned from a Gold Cup stint with the US national team on Thursday, missing out on his first cap after not making an appearance for head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s side in four games. That was disappointing, of course, but a conversation with Klinsmann and his staff made it clear the left back made a mark in the US boss’ mind.

“I got some positive feedback from Klinsmann,” Ashe told MLSsoccer.com after returning to training with the Houston Dynamo. “It was [that] technically I’m very gifted and have a lot of potential. He said it shouldn’t take long for me to adjust to the speed of play. Overall, he was pleased and said I played well.

“I was hoping for an opportunity, but this was my first camp. I enjoyed it, had fun and got to see what everything’s about and I look forward to making my presence felt.”

Failing to get on the field was certainly a letdown, but it was not unexpected with both DaMarcus Beasley and Edgar Castillo – left-sided players who have been part of World Cup qualifying – in camp.

“It was unfortunate with DaMarcus and Edgar there that I was never really going to find time,” Ashe said. “Once he announced DaMarcus as the captain, I kind of knew. Those two guys have been with him since qualifying, so it was going to be hard to get a sniff.”

Still, the call-up is another positive step forward for Ashe. After transitioning to left back in 2011 from midfield, he’s seen a steady rise in his league and national profile. The a call-up from Klinsmann is just the latest in a line of accolades, including two All-Star nods and recognition as one of the best left backs in the league.

Those positives are helping Ashe keep things in perspective. He knows now that he’s on Klinsmann’s radar, and after some promising feedback, this will likely be just his first foray into the USMNT mix.

“It allowed me to get my feet wet and train and show my potential,” Ashe said. “They said they were happy with me and will be contacting me soon to get me back.”

Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.