Josh Gatt is glad to be making his debut for the U-20 national team.
Manny Wicher/SCR Altach

Five questions with US U-20s star Gatt

You're about to hear a lot more about Josh Gatt. The midfielder scored two goals and assisted on three others in the United States U-20 team's 5-0 victory over Canada this past Saturday. Gatt, who has earned a starting role at SC Rheindorf Altach in Austria, spoke with last week before he earned his first start in an American uniform.

1. What's your most memorable United States national team moment?

The overall fun that we get to have after training. Today we did shooting and that's a lot of fun. I like hanging out on the field and talking. It's really rare you see a lot of kids coming from all different places to be a team.

2. What would you tell yourself of five years ago?

Be patient. Five years ago, I was under the radar. I had just come to the Wolves club [his former youth club in Michigan]. I was behind Soony Saad. At the time, he was the superstar of Michigan. It was frustrating. My dad said patient, but my mom and I were furious. I thought I was as good as him, but I never got calls to the national team. I started to think that maybe I wasn't good enough, but I'm glad I listened to my dad and was patient.

3. Favorite teammate to play with? Why?

I don't really have one at the moment, but if I were to say anything, I'd say I really like playing right mid in front of [U-20 teammate] Zarek Valentin. He talks a lot, and he's very positive. He helps guide me to players that are open. It's easy to play with him. I feel comfortable being able to go up and attack because I know that he can hold it down defensively.

4. What's one skill you could improve?

My shooting. I've never had to shoot because I've had Soony or kids like that on my team, and it was my job to pass to them. I was never told to shoot. I've spent the last six months trying to learn to strike a ball. I feel like I'm getting better but I have a long way to go. I usually take 30-50 shots after practice in Austria.

5. Where do you see yourself in five years in regards to the US team?

Hopefully, I will be just getting done with the 2014 world cup. That's my biggest goal. To play in that; to be a starter on that team, probably a right mid. I think it's a realistic goal. I've improved tremendously. I feel that if I keep improving at the rate I am, I can challenge for a spot on the national team and play on it.

Noah Davis covers the United States national team for Follow him on Twitter at @noahedavis.

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