KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Chance Myers is healthy again, looking forward to the MLS homestretch and CONCACAF Champions League play – and, he hopes, playing himself into contention for an international call-up in 2014.
“I feel good,” the Sporting Kansas City right back told MLSsoccer.com on Friday, after a training session ahead of Sunday's match in Chicago (3 pm ET, ESPN/Live chat on MLSsoccer.com). “I feel healthy, feel strong.”
Coming into the season, manager Peter Vermes had expected Myers to be the next Sporting player called up by US national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann – perhaps even for Gold Cup action this summer. But the full back has missed six league games this year with a succession of muscle tweaks.
“I've played in 12 of the 18 games,” he said. “so obviously there's knocks you have to take care of so they don't turn into something that lasts 3-4 months.”
And while the injuries might have delayed his chances for a call-up, Myers hasn't given up on being a part of the national team.
“This just drives me to work harder, and hopefully things happen on down the line. I just want to continue to work hard and motivate myself every day to be better. It's always in everybody's mind, every day, to come out and perform on the practice field, perform on the weekends, and hopefully be recognized.”
And the best way to do that, Myers said, is for Sporting to do well in CCL group play and make a deep run into the MLS playoffs.
“The team has a lot to prove. We've got a lot of competitions coming up,” he said. “It's going to be tough games coming up for us. But it's true – when the team has success, players get recognized. When we weren't doing well, four or five years ago, not a lot of guys were getting called in. Since we've had success, gotten things turned around, a lot of guys are getting called in and having success as well.”
Vermes is encouraged by Myers' return to form and said on Friday that the fullback is close to full strength.
“He's really starting to get back into form now,” Vermes said. “I think his fitness side for that position is really starting to come along as well. I'm really happy with his progression and the way he's coming along as well.”
And with a strong showing the rest of the way this season, Vermes said, there's no reason Myers shouldn't be on Klinsmann's radar in the future.
“It's just consistency,” he said. “That's what he had over the last two years, where he's been really consistent, playing all the time when he wasn't injured. He just needs to get back to that.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.