American Exports: Terrence Boyd surprised by ex-club Borussia Dortmund's Champions League run

Terrence Boyd, Borussia Dortmund

Photo Credit: 
Borussia Dortmund

AMSTERDAM – It may sound funny, but Rapid Vienna ace Terrence Boyd admits he'll be more nervous watching former employers Borussia Dortmund battle in Saturday's UEFA Champions League final than he is when he plays.

The US forward, who has 16 goals and eight assists across all competitions heading into Sunday's Austrian Bundesliga closer against SV Ried, will be cheering on several BvB friends made while with the club last season. Though he did not make a first-team appearance during his year with Dortmund, Boyd often trained with Jürgen Klopp squad while leading the reserve side with 20 goals.

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"It's crazy," Boyd excitedly told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Thursday. "I'm surprised they are in the final, but I'm just happy for them. I hope they take it."

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Win or lose, the 22-year-old says he'll likely be on the phone with a few of his former teammates just to hear about the experience.

"No matter what happens, both teams can feel like winners, because it's just a big game to be in and a challenging final," said Boyd. "They can be proud of what they achieved."

The American can also feel good about his first season of top-flight soccer with Rapid, during which he showed a consistency in production even though the club struggled mightily as a team after the winter break. Boyd averaged a goal every 194 minutes, including three scored in the first nine Europa League matches of his career.

Though his performances this season have occasionally prompted some transfer rumors overseas, for now the youngster seems focused on raising his goal total for the Green-Whites.

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"Compared to the beginning of the season, I think I've learned a lot," Boyd said. "There have been so many things I went through, positive and challenging, like tough lessons. It's great that I have experienced this.

"The [team's] season could have been better, but it's OK that at least we get third place. My season also could be better. I still have room to improve. I'm looking forward to next season."

Before then, however, Boyd will chase some summer action with the US national team, who have friendlies with Belgium and Germany next week. The goal shark, who has yet to tally in his seven USMNT caps, will fly across the Atlantic on Monday looking to show his worth ahead of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica, Panama and Honduras.

"The other [Rapid] guys will have a vacation, but this is my kind of vacation," declared Boyd. "I really enjoy being a part of this. I hope to get some minutes in the friendlies and in the World Cup qualifiers. I want to play, but it's very nice just to be on the team."

Greg Seltzer covers Americans based abroad for MLSsoccer.com.