One of this season’s rookies to watch was Kansas City’s Teal Bunbury. The former Canadian youth international was a key component in the Wizards attack and a player whose international future has been the topic of much discussion on both sides of the 49th parallel.
Would he choose to play for the United States or Canada?
Shortly after news of his decision to accept a call up to the USMNT for their upcoming match against South Africa was made public, Bunbury spoke with MLSsoccer.com about his decision to go with the US.
MLSsoccer.com: Big day for you, huh?
Bunbury: Yeah, it’s been kind of overwhelming with people calling and sending texts. But it’s a great feeling. I’m really excited.
MLSsoccer.com: I’m sure. Tell me about your decision to accept this call up from the US team.
Bunbury: It was a big decision for me, obviously. It’s my international career and I feel honored that I have been given this privilege to go represent the US.
MLSsoccer.com: You talked to your father [former Canadian international Alex Bunbury] about this. What was his advice?
Bunbury: He just wanted what was best for me, and he was behind me 100% on [my decision]. He gave me a few pointers, tips and opinions that he had, but ultimately it came down to me and I made the best decision possible.
MLSsoccer.com: What one factor tipped you over the edge to the US side instead of the Canadian side?
Bunbury: The biggest thing for me is I want to play in a World Cup, bottom line. Every player in the world ultimately wants to play in a World Cup, and the way it’s looking the US has the better chance of making it to the World Cup, to be honest. That’s what really stuck in my mind every time I would contemplate it and that’s ultimately what swayed me.
Best of Teal Bunbury
MLSsoccer.com:Have you spoken to US coach Bob Bradley?
Bunbury: Yes, I spoke to him a couple of months ago and it went really well. I’m excited to meet him. He seems very interested in me, saying that he watched me throughout the season and liked how I matured. So it was a great conversation.
MLSsoccer.com: I’m just going to put this out there: How committed are you to this? Is this you saying you’re with the U.S. or is there a chance that sometime down the line Canadian fans may see you in their colors if things don’t work out for the best?
Bunbury: There are always things that could happen, but for me right now I’m committed. I don’t go into things casually and think ,“Well what if this happens or this happens…” I’m 100% committed with the US and that’s my attitude.
MLSsoccer.com: The conference championships are taking place this weekend. Who do you like?
Bunbury: LA and Dallas are both great teams and it should be a really great game, but to honest with you I feel like LA might have the edge. As far as Colorado and San Jose goes, I think San Jose is going to pull it off. So it’ll be LA and San Jose in the final. That would be an entertaining game, for sure.