World Cup: Overjoyed Terrence Boyd to treat USMNT call as if he's last striker on depth chart
AMSTERDAM – Excuse Terrence Boyd if he's beyond excited. On Monday, the Rapid Vienna forward learned he had been named to Jurgen Klinsmann's 30-man pre-World Cup prep-camp squad, a boyhood fantasy come to life for the 23-year-old German-born striker.
"I can't wait to get into camp and show what I've got," Boyd told MLSsoccer.com by phone mere moments after Monday's announcement. "I hope to make a good impression on the coach and make the team."
Boyd's blistering form for Rapid likely sealed the deal for Klinsmann. Over the weekend, he became just the fifth American to notch at least 20 goals in a single top-flight club campaign.
If the Rapid top gun can translate his late-season club success to camp, the expectations around him are certain to rise. After going without a goal for five games in March and April, Boyd bagged six with an assist over the final four as his club secured second place in the Austrian Bundesliga table.
The surge boosted his league strike total to 15 and his sum across all competitions to 20, both new career highs. However, Boyd says it hasn't simply been a matter of getting hot at the right time.
"Right now, I am in good form scoring goals," he said. "I think I have developed my skills over last year. I've gained more experience and I think I've finally found my game as a striker."
Even so, he will join USMNT camp later this week as if he starts the roster race in last place.
"[My family] is really excited," he said. "My stepdad told me an old German saying: 'You have no chance, use it.' I'm going there with minimum expectations. It's a dream come true."
But those dreams may need some tempering this week in Northern California. Even if he does make the final 23-man roster, the Rapid starter will most likely be tasked with making impact off the bench for Klinsmann.
And that's just fine with him going into camp, as is the possibility that he ends up an alternate for the tournament in Brazil. After all, there is another World Cup he could reach for in 2018.
"If I could make the World Cup team, I would be the happiest guy in the world," Boyd declared. "Anything I could do to help the team would be my job. If I am on the bench, for a friendly, for a World Cup game, I would just try to work my a-- off and score goals.
"If it didn't work out this time, I would be sad, sure. But I would still be thankful for what Klinsmann did for me. He made an international team player when I was still in the reserves of [Borussia] Dortmund."