HOUSTON – Balancing club and country has taken on a different meaning for Tally Hall.
After earning two trips to the MLS Cup final in his first two seasons, garnering an All-Star nod and setting the club shutout record last season, it's fair to say he is doing just fine in Houston.
But Hall wants more – national team opportunities, to be specific.
“I wanted to be there in Honduras," Hall told MLSsoccer.com, "and I think I’m good enough and if I work on some of the things they set in front of me, which I will do, I know there’s a path for me to get on the team and to be a serious component for that team. So that’s my goal.”
If he wants to achieve that goal, though, he'll have to find a way to work on skills that aren't necasarily a point of emphasis in Houston.
“[I've got to be] better with my feet, and the weight I put behind passes can be sharper and distribution out of hands with punts,” Hall elaborated. “With the national team, they want a little more responsibility on me. Those are the things they set in front of me. I’m confident I’ll be able to do what they want me to do.”
Hall has heard that his skills with the ball need to get better before in his career, including during his time with the Dynamo, but it is a different approach with the USMNT.
While US head coach Jurgen Klinsmann likes his goalkeepers to be more involved in finding players on the wings and initiating the attack, Hall’s approach with the Dynamo is to get the ball out to the players, like Brad Davis and Boniek García, to make plays.
While the approaches on the field are different, Hall feels the way the two administrations approach the game is similar, putting him in a position to work toward a more permenant place with the US.
“The way the Dynamo staff holds players accountable is the same as what Jurgen was saying, it’s just that they want some different things so you just have to work towards that,” Hall said. “I don’t think being here is anything that’s holding me back. I think being with the Dynamo has allowed me to get to that level.”
Darrell Lovell covers the Houston Dynamo for MLSsoccer.com.