Add Justin Che to a growing list of Major League Soccer dual nationals pondering their international futures.
The FC Dallas homegrown defender, fresh off a five-month loan with Bayern Munich II, is part of Gregg Berhalter’s 27-man training camp roster for the US men's national team's international friendly against host Switzerland Sunday (2 pm ET | ESPN,UniMás,TUDN).
The 17-year-old has been called up to various US youth national team camps, including to participate in the UEFA Development Tournament in the Czech Republic, where the U-16s defeated Hungary, 1-0, and were named champions of the tournament.
Che’s mother was raised in Germany and his maternal grandparents live in Mannheim, Germany and, as a result, he holds a German passport.
Che was born in Dallas.
“I’m still very young so I have a lot of time. I think as it stands right now, I don’t really have a primary choice. To me, the team that gives me the most opportunity and the team that embraces me and allows me to represent their country is the team that I’d choose,” Che told FCDallas.com's Garrett Melcer. "It’s all about having a chance. If you don’t have a chance, you won’t be seen and no one will know your name. It’s about opportunity and having the pride to represent your country.”
That said, Che said he was “very surprised” and “stoked” to receive a call and invite from Berhalter. Joining fellow FC Dallas academy products Kellyn Acosta, Reggie Cannon, Weston McKennie and Bryan Reynolds, Che is the youngest player invited into camp.
“Looking back, even a year ago, I wouldn’t think I would be with the senior men’s national team,” he said. “Back then, even with my own age (group), the U-16/17 national team, I wasn’t one of the first choices or top picks. I wasn’t brought to every camp. I don’t think I was seen as a top prospect. So, for me, a year later, to really put in the work, I honestly think I deserve it. I’ve always believed in myself, so to be able to put in the work and to hear from one of the best coaches in Gregg Berhalter, it’s something I’ll always be grateful for.”