Americans Abroad

Potts gets England U-18 call-up

Potts (Getty Images)

The fight for Dan Potts is on.

A U.S.-eligible, 17-year-old left back playing for West Ham, Potts has been called in by England's Under-18 national team for a friendly against Poland next month.

Potts, who has dual eligibility for both England and the United States, has never previously represented England on the youth level, and he took part in a U.S. U-20 camp last year. Although he was born in England, his father, former West Ham standout defender Steve Potts, was born in Connecticut. Just appearing for the England U-18s in this friendly would not prohibit him from eventually playing for the United States, but this call-up is the first indication that England has shown in wanting him to represent his birth country.

Potts' rise to West Ham's first team this year has been well documented. He has made four starts for the first team after being pressed into action, and he is also the captain of the club's U-18 side, making him a promising defensive prospect on both the club and international levels.

What do you make of this development?

Share your thoughts below.

  • Ted in MN

    Overall, most people would take England any day for the next few years. However, I agree with you that the United States definitely has the advantage in certain positions.
    If you include players who could come back from international retirements, none of the English goalkeepers could even crack the bench for the United States in South Africa. You could make an argument for Hart now but personally, I think he is being inflated by the most dominant outfield in the EPL.
    In 2010:


  • malkin

    Timmy has been more than adequate at left back. And we also have Fabian Johnson and/or Danny Williams that can (and do) play the role.


  • wilyboy

    Of course it’s over. Young players see themselves as the star of their own personal rags to riches story, and what player would rather take starting for the US rather than playing for England as their crowning moment?

    If your answer is America, (as mine is) then your someone who comments on a US soccer blog.

    Our only hope is England never gives him a serious look at a cap. Here’s hoping.


  • Ted in MN

    yeah thought that might be a problem

    Friedel and Howard-Tier 1
    Hahnemann and Keller- Tier 2
    Guzan and Hart- Tier 3
    Green- Tier 4
    James- Tier oh boy this is just painful


  • RLW2020


    If he wants to play for the USA then he should have a chance sometime before he is cap-tied to England but no one should be surprised by this one.

    To put the shoe on the other foot, I didn’t hear a lot of Haitians upset when Jozy debuted for the USA.


  • Todd

    @Mike we are clearly not better than England…but I agree we have a few players who could make a difference on mid level teams and maybe Dempsey at his best on a top four team(That unfortunately doesn’t look like it is going to happen). As for world class goal keepers that goes with so many hand driven sports in the US(It is an old point but still very valid…God bless Friedel!!!.”

    @Imperative voice: can we really compare English WC qualification to US CONCACUPCAKE WC qualification. I would agree that we have made more progress than England over the last 20 years but that is because we have had such a large gap to overcome. I would say your analogy between 2006 older stars and now is spot on but until we get soild replacements I think Dolo and Boca are going to stay. Having said this I this Chandler might take over right back if Lichaj can take left. Maybe Ream or Cameron for Boca…or both for Boca and Gooch…but hat is a big if. Lastly, and I hope I am wrong when Klinsi leaves the German infusion will probably dry up. Maybe his revamping of the youth system(long over due)can start producing our own technical players that can provide the growth for the US to be a top tier team. Infusion, at that time, would happen because we are so good. Only then maybe we won’t need the help. (Yes I know I am dreaming…but if we do not have hope then why would any of us be passionate enought to make a post. Hey I am still routing for Charlie Davies to make an impact in France and the USMT)


  • Grant

    Just wondering, do you feel the same way about Jermaine Jones, Tim Chandler, Danny Williams, and Fabian Johnson the way you feel about Giuseppe Rossi? Trying to understand the thought process of a lot of supporters that take your stance about Rossi.


  • Ted in MN

    In 2010,when Hart was behind Given at Manchester City and was getting loaned out as a first year player to Birmingham City while Guzan was saving Villa’s butt in penalties and Hahnemann was starting for Wolves? No, I’m not kidding at all.


  • Ted in MN

    Keep in mind Hart’s reputation at the time was based off one year. In retrospect, Capello probably should have been starting him yet he chose Green and James before. You’re applying a modern pov to a historical case.


  • GW

    “If the kid has a decent brain he’ll realize that, given the competition in England, there’s only a small chance he’ll ever start for their men’s team. And even if he does, there’s an even smaller chance he’ll be starting for them during a World Cup. ”

    Obviously, you don’t know any 18 year old kids.


  • Award

    It was bound to happen. He has been invited to the U.S. U-20’s and now he is getting an invite to the English U-18’s. It’s all on him now. Lets not forget that one of his best friends is an American Sebastian Lletget. Anyways he is not the only dual national LB to except another countries invite. Jaun Pablo Oceguaedo has excepted two invites with Mexico’s U-20 program, and that for sure is looking like Mexico nabbed him from the US U-20 team. Good thing the US U-20’s have a decent pool of LB’s to chose from i.e. Cunnignham, Moises Hernandez, Mikey Ambrose, and Marc Pelosi can play LB as well.


  • GeorgeCross

    It does make me laugh that the US cannot develop their own talent; the USSF having to snake their fingers up family trees to import players from Germany and England. WHat ever happened to Bradenton, FL?


  • johnvan12

    Alex Oxeley-Chamberlain, now 19, will be playing left back for England as soon as Ashley Cole is done. Mr. Potts should play for the US if he ever wants to see the field in a World Cup.


  • Andy

    I’m 19, and I get the reference. You people need to get some culture. (not that Animal House is cultured haha)

    And good points Brad, I was being cynical/trying to make a joke I guess, but I could definitely see that scenario playing out.


  • Ryan

    Agreed, plus his dad played english football. I would love to have another young prospect but I can not fault him for choosing his birth nation.


  • GW

    “Doesn’t mean we’re as good as them.”

    You don’t have to be as good as them to beat them.

    “If you think we are better than England, you are deluded.”

    That depends on what you mean by “better”?

    Man for man they have more talented, experienced, battle tested players than the US. If those were the only factors you would have to pick England every time. However, there are a lot of intangibles that go into building a team and then playing the game. England tends to be a little shaky on some of those.

    In terms of team unity, the USMNT looks a lot more together and unified than what seems to be a much more potentially volatile England locker room. For example, now that Harkes is retired it seems we don’t have too many players sleeping with other player’s wives or getting entangled with the legal system or getting hounded halfway to hell by the tabloids.

    If the England players are feeling free and relaxed they would probably play the US and most teams right off the field; but they almost never feel that way.

    In general they have a very fragile mentality. Which is why this next managerial hire will be a very big deal for them. Get the right man and they could do very well in the Euro’s. Hire some D bag and their fans and the media will crucify them, burn them in effigy and then de-friend them.

    Potts may surprise everyone but there is no reason to think he has a particularly exceptional shot to be the left back for England. In fact, it’s not as if he has the left back slot for West Ham all sewn up.

    Neither is he that likely to ever be the left back for the USMNT. It’s far too early to tell.

    However, should he prove willing and able, his chances of regular playing time are probably going to be better with the US than with England. The main difference from a professional stand point, is England play in two major competitions, the World Cup and the Euros while the US only does the World Cup. However, with the rumored alterations to Copa America, maybe that will change by the time Potts is an adult.

    The USMNT will be the underdog any time they play England but there is also no reason to think they can’t beat them.


  • blaise213

    Because Rossi scores a ridiculous amount of goals for his club team and is a starter for Italy. All the German guys you named are never made it to the same level.



  • GW

    If those Jersey Shore denizens are the very flower of American womenhood and the best the US can come up with, no wonder Pots is thining England.


  • GW

    What proof do you have Potts is a good international left back?

    Five games for a Championship side?


  • John Barnes

    You mean like that German team that pounded England in the 2010 World Cup? Lot of real Zimmerman-esque Germans on that team.

    Care to tell me what great talent the English have developed lately?


  • Tyler

    True, Johnson doesn’t necessarily play regularly in the back though and if both Lichaj and Potts fulfill their potential I believe Potts will be the superior player. That being said Lichaj is still a damn good option and he’ll be in the mix undoubtedly. Hopefully he can hit 100% and get back in there soon.


  • Tyler

    Oceguda hasn’t decided. I think as we move forward we’ll see more and more players jump around, in the interest of not wanting to shut any doors because anything can happen and you don’t want to step on anyone’s toes.


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