Paxton Pomykal was one of three players who were rewarded with their first senior call-up to the U.S. Men’s National Team on Wednesday. The 19-year-old FC Dallas midfielder is coming into his own in his first full MLS season, but has also hit some bumps along the way.
The physicality of the league has definitely taken its toll on Pomykal, but the midfielder has continued to earn starts and make an impact for Luchi Gonzalez’s side. After a rise through the U.S. U-20 side, especially this summer at the U-20 World Cup in Poland, Pomykal will now get a first taste of the senior team environment under Gregg Berhalter.
“Sergino [Dest] and Paxton those are two guys who were heavily involved in the U-20 World Cup,” Berhalter said in a conference call on Wednesday. “It’s nice to bring players through our system, see them play in major competitions. Then get a look at them at the National Team level. I think they’re both ready and have gotten minutes with their clubs.”
“Paxton’s a guy we want to bring around to see the environment, get some experience. We like what he is doing in the league and we think he has a ways to go to continue to develop, but this is an opportunity to bring a guy around the full National Team environment. To see how he can cope with the demands of it.”
After eight appearances over the previous two seasons with FC Dallas, Pomykal has thrived under Gonzalez in 2019. Pomykal has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Dallas, scoring two goals and adding three assists. Not only is he becoming involved with the club’s attack, he is covering plenty of ground in midfield which is something he has also shown with the U-20’s.
The opportunity to train with the likes of Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, and others is one that will make him better and get him ready for the next step in his development. He will also have the opportunity to win his first caps with the senior group in matches against Mexico and Uruguay in early September.
“He’s a very young player who has shown a lot of promise,” Berhalter said. “He’s been up and down this season and rightfully so, it’s his first real season in MLS. The physicality at times has taken a toll on him, but he’s rebounding in a good way. It’s nice to bring him in and have him around. We’re interested to see how he can deal with the speed of the game at this level.”