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Doyle still undecided between USA and Ireland

Conor Doyle (

Photo by John Dorton/

Conor Doyle was born and raised in Texas, and just finished a training camp with the U.S. Under-20 national team, but that hasn't stopped Ireland from courting him and leaving him with a decision to make over which country he will represent.

Doyle's father is Irish and playing for Ireland is an option, and now Doyle is facing even more pressure to make a decision after being called into an Irish Under-21 camp.

In a recent interview with the Herald of Ireland, Doyle revealed that he still hasn't made a decision between the United States and Ireland.

"I haven't made a final decision yet, there's still a chance that I could play for Ireland if I am asked," Doyle told the Herald. "I was away with the US for two training camps but I haven't committed myself to them in any way.

"If the FAI ask me to come and train with them then I'll do that, and make a final decision on my international future after that."

Doyle was called into a 19-man Ireland Under-21 squad for an upcoming friendly against Cyprus on Feb. 9th. Appearing in that friendly won't tie him to Ireland, but Doyle has expressed a desire to spend some time with the Ireland set-up to help him make his decision.

"I know I need to make a decision, I don't want to leave anyone waiting for me to decide, so if the Irish squad ask me to come to Dublin for a look I'd be happy to do it," added Doyle.

Doyle enjoyed an impressive training camp with the U.S. Under-20 national team in Florida earlier this month, playing well enough to be considered a good candidate for the Under-20 World Cup squad.

Doyle has seen his stock skyrocket since going from relative unknown to hot-shot youth national team prospect. His successful move to Derby County has elevated his status and the experience he's gained playing in the League Championship has improved him dramatically as a player.

What's my take? I can't imagine Doyle choosing Ireland considering he was born and raised in the United States, but playing in England, having Irish family nearby and Irish teammates influencing him could make the decision a tough one. He clearly has ties to Ireland, and is wise to explore his options, but with a role on the U.S. Under-20 national team a strong likelihood, it's tough to see him choosing Ireland over the United States.

What do you think of Doyle's situation? Disappointed that he hasn't made a decision yet? Confident he'll pick the United States?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. if he wants to check out Ireland go right ahead. I will however ask him to check out the FIFA page for the World Cup and come back and tell me how many times Ireland has made the World Cup and how many times the US has in the last 25 years. I think the decision gets a bit easier after that. (especially when one considers how much larger the task of qualifying is coming out of Europe when 1 spot is essentially a ‘gimmie’ for Germany every year)

  2. It’s too early to tell about any of these Under 20’s.

    It is entirely possible none of them will be good enough for the 2014 squad.

    How many of these guys have played 19 games in the EPL?

    Jonathan Spector had played that many league games for Man U. and Charlton in the EPL by the time he was 20, was well thought of and look at him now. Even with his recent midfield revival he has had a pretty inconsistent career after his early success.

    Everyone is counting their chickens way too early.

  3. The US is more likely to get into the World Cup on a regular basis than the Republic of Ireland.

    On the other hand Ireland has an iconic manager in Trapattoni(though for how long who knows?) and two major trophies they play for.

    They have a shot at the Euro’s but often don’t qualify (last time was 1998). It is possible Ireland won’t qualify for the World Cup and the Euros for the entirety of Doyle’s professional career.

    Tough choice but Doyle’s dad may hold the final vote.

  4. You know, if you worked in the Army or in some government service position, you might have the right to say this. And maybe you do. But I wonder if you, in choosing your job, chose what can help your career and make the most money, or sacrificed yourself somehow for love of country.

  5. There is no way to tell if Doyle will be the kind of star performer the US needs in 3 or 7 years (or for that matter Bunbury, Agudelo, Altidore, etc.) After they have proven themselves in top pro leagues, or not, then we’ll know. We have lots of potential star players, but none are a certain deal. Cristiano Ronaldo and Messi were true teen-aged stars, none of these guys are there yet. Conversely, Steve Snow was a great goal-scorer for US youth and Olympic teams, but failed to blossom as a pro, you just never know!

    Every player needs to decide for himself where his loyalties lie. That is not always an easy choice to make.

    I wish him well.

  6. To me FIFA should change the rule so you have to either be born in the country you want to play, have parents from the country (and only parents) or have lived in the country for at least 8 years and have citizenship.

    I dont like poaching players it ruins the national pride for me, just my opinion.

  7. For bi-cultural people this can always a tough decision. However, with the US he does have better opportunity to play in big tournaments.

  8. Quite frankly, screw any player that even waffles on the decision. Once you are 100% a member of the USA squad, the 2011 gold cup champs as well as the 2014 world cup champs, I’ll read everything about you and support everything you
    do. But until that day, get bent if u publicly say this crap. Just shut up and play and earn your spot on the u20s and don’t treat national teams as dueling club teams. You are messing with national pride which some people might be ok with, but the best kind of national fan hates this crap

  9. Who cares? It is his decision and he will have to live with it, for better or worse. I think we are forgetting these players are still basically kids. And what is with all the hate toward players that choose other countries? Is it not enough to watch, enjoy, and root for our players, but we must actively hate on someone who made a different decision?

  10. He should be able to switch teams at some point in the future if he changes his mind. Under the new FIFA rule, since he is eligible for either before he picks one side he can switch as long as he doesn’t play an official match with one of the senior teams.(like Jones)

  11. Are you basing this on the fact he’s finding a little bit of PT with Derby, or have you actually seen much of Doyle? Im honestly curious, b/c given the current batch of strikers on the US U20’s, he might very well find himself riding pine.

    I would like to see Doyle pick the US for multiple reasons, key one being the thinness of our striker pool. Even with the potentials coming through the U20’s right now, we have no idea which will pan out.

    HOWEVER, Doyle has to do what’s best for him. He’s not cap tied to either nation as of yet, but i suspect Rongen will be expecting an answer come Quals. If he’s denies the callup to Quals, Rongen will pull a different striker from his deep deep pool and move on without Doyle.

    He has to sit down and figure out where his heart lays AS WELL what’s best to help his career. A soccer player needs to max out the amount of $$ he makes as his career is relatively short.

  12. Ives – I’ll be the first to ask and break the ice/silence. What is the likelihood of playing the friendly in Egypt next month given the current state of affairs in Cairo? Does USSF have an Option B?

  13. Excuse me for missing that development that happened at about the time I posted yesterday. In all seriousness, if I’m going to call someone out on their facts being wrong, then mine should be right. But really, news reports came out about Zak YESTERDAY.

  14. You know, you can show love of your country in other ways. Rossi still loves the USA and I imagine as does Doyle. Why does them wanting to be the best that they can be mean they don’t love their country when they CLEARLY do?

  15. My honest take is that every player has a different tug, to put it metaphorically. Rossi felt the tug of potential glory more than the tug of his homeland. Some call that heartless. I think he was just doing everything(legally) possible to get to the highest level and be the best that he could be. Nothing wrong with that. What tug Doyle feels the most is yet to be seen.

  16. Why are people even mentioning Zakuani? Didn’t he just recently get his green card? He’s still like 4 to 5 years away from US Citizenship

  17. It’s true that he’d have a much better chance to qualify for a WC with the US….but whenever Ireland DOES qualify for a WC, they typically do very well — in fact, they’ve done about as well as the US has done, if not better (check 1990, 1994, took Spain to pens in 2002).

    He should pick the US if he wants to almost guarantee himself a shot at a WC. But if it makes better business sense for him to pick Ireland, then I doubt he’ll think twice.

  18. Not direct response, but wow to some posters in here, we have maybe 3/4 good potential FW’s for our near future World Cups and people are acting like its ok to lose a prospect. Brazil has 100’s let alone our supposed greatness of 3 or 4. Anybody ever hear about Injuries? You know how our offense stunk once Davies got injured. Not every U-20 player is going to make it, you can’t say well we have 5 good 18-year olds who look amazing right now so Doyle has no chance, odds are most U-20’s wont make it and Doyle could easily pass the players he might be behind right now with in 2 years. People need to focus on the situation a little more before we agree he should play for Ireland if he is behinf a bunch of other 19-year olds based on a U-20 Coach opinion.

  19. Who cares where the hell he developed as a footballer. I care where he was developed as a human being. I’d be willing to bet he’s as American in culture as any one of us reading this blog.

  20. The requirements should never be anything more than, “would so and so legitimately be eligible for a country’s citizenship if they were not a soccer player”. If it was enforeceable, the consequences of making “does the player’s heart beat for the jersey” the criteria would be horrific. In many of the countries in which I’ve lived this would give ammunition to extemists calling for the exclusion of ethnic, religious, and racial minorities on the grounds that they are “foreigners” (regardless of where they were actually born).

    And would such a criteria apply to people who only have eligibility for one country, but for whatever reason do not seem to be sufficiently patriotic? Would players have to pass some test by the “patriotism police”? Or would only immigrants and those with multiple passports be subject to this? That starts getting very ugly.

    It just seems to me a criterai thjat goes beyond the simple passport eligibility requirement would inevitably be, at a minimum excessively judgmental, and at worst a tool for extremists.


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