Dom Dwyer’s dream of playing for the U.S. Men’s National Team is getting closer by the day as he prepares for the Gold Cup with the 23-man squad that was announced on Sunday.
But the process to get to this point has been one years in the making for the Sporting Kansas City forward.
“I think it became a reality maybe three of four years ago that this could happen,” Dwyer said. “I started to work really hard for it since then and I’m delighted to be here.”
As he waited for the citizenship process, Dwyer was busy scoring goals on the field for Orlando City in the USL and then with Sporting Kansas City, where he’s racked up 57 goals in 128 appearances. He’s scored more than 10 goals in each of the last three seasons, with his 22 in 2014 putting him on the map, and he’s halfway to that mark in 2017.
Although he may be one of the new faces in red, white and blue, Dwyer has some familiarity with his USMNT teammates, especially with Sporting KC teammates Matt Besler and Graham Zusi.
“I know quite a few guys on the team too so they’ve given me some advice and so have some of my teammates so it’s nice to be here,” Dwyer said.
“It’s something I’ve really worked hard for and it’s really nice to actually be here now and be around the guys,” Dwyer said. “I really want to integrate myself with the group. They’re a very nice bunch. They’re very welcoming so I’m very excited to be here and hopefully I can contribute to the team.”
Dwyer’s also received advice from his wife, Sydney Leroux Dwyer, who herself is the owner of 35 goals in 75 appearances for the U.S. Women’s National Team.
“She’s been there and done it all,” Dwyer said. “Even though it’s a little different, it’s still the same kind of thing. She’s always got good words of advice and she’s experienced a lot so it’s cool.
As one of three forwards on the roster, four if you count Gyasi Zardes, Dwyer will be tasked with thriving up top as the USMNT looks to progress through the group stage without any hurdles.
“I bring a lot of excitement. I bring my passion,” Dwyer said. “I really just want to go for it. I hope I can bring some goals to the side and help the side succeed. Right now, the goal is to win the tournament and that’s what we’re really focused on.”
Dwyer hopes his performances during the Gold Cup will reward fans with the same passion that the forward has received from the American faithful since coming over from England.
“I think that’s the beautiful thing about the US. They’re very welcoming to all and it’s an opportunity for me,” Dwyer said. “My wife’s American. My son is American. I’ve grown a lot in my life here as well. I’m delighted to have this opportunity and I hope the nation can welcome me in as well and I can pay them back some love. I really hope I can give back to the country that’s given me a lot.”