During an MLS media day on Tuesday Dom Dwyer was quoted by several reporters saying that he would be eligible for U.S. citizenship as early as next month. Does he really have a chance at making the team? If the answer is yes, then when? And of course how does this effect Sporting Kansas City?
I think the obvious answer is yes. Dom’s goal scoring production the past two seasons is undeniably impressive, with 28 regular season goals. How does this stack up against other current forwards in the U.S. Men’s National Team January Camp? Jozy Altidore had 23 and Juan Agudelo had 14 in the same span, while Jordan Morris had 12 in his rookie season. To me what makes Dom’s production slightly more impressive is honestly his lack of support at times. So little support that some say he even plays upfront by himself on “Dwyer Island.”
It’s a real shame that his citizenship didn’t come in earlier like Kekuta Manneh’s because this January camp would’ve been the perfect time for Dom to come in and prove to new USMNT coach Bruce Arena that he belongs. That being said the next opportunity would be the Gold Cup coming up this summer. Now while this tournament usually does consist of a lot of MLS players, this could cause a problem for Sporting Kansas City if he does receive a call up.
If Dom receives a call up, and Benny Feilhaber has a good showing at this month’s camp, it is very likely that Sporting could be down four players during the summer. That’s only taking into consideration the U.S. players. Haiti qualified for a playoff match to decide if they go as well, and if they do that means Sporting could be without Soni Mustivar. That’s not all either. If Honduras qualifies as well this week, then it would be likely that Roger Espinoza could receive a call-up as well. This would leave Sporting very depleted during the summer months, and more than likely leaving them in a hole to try and dig themselves out of during fall (not to mention that most of these players would likely want a break after the tournament to rest up).
I think it says a lot about the strength of this Sporting Kansas City team’s core, and the incredible job that Peter Vermes has done in acquiring all of these high quality players that are receiving frequent call-ups to represent their countries. That being said the selfish fan in me wants to see them in a SKC jersey helping to earn valuable points in the league, rather than a trophy that comes around every two years (and quite honestly should be a tournament that the USMNT should breeze through except the likely final against Mexico). I do understand though a player wanting to represent his country. Needless to say how all of these things shake out could lead to a very interesting summer.