Winning championships are goals that players want to achieve, and it’s true for soccer players as well. The highest honor you could achieve at the club level are domestic trophies (MLS Cup) and continental championships (CONCACAF Champions League).
More importantly, they want to fulfill a lifelong dream — to represent their country.
Real Salt Lake’s Jordan Allen will be among a group of international players who will all be playing in the biggest games of their young careers, the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Following a 4-1 loss to the Montreal Impact, Jordan Allen would depart the team and travel to Sydney, Australia in preparation for the U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. To travel across the world, must have felt surreal. One day he’s with his RSL teammates in Montreal, and the next he’s in Sydney training with the USMNT.
Before training took place, he stopped and looked outside the team’s apartment. Down below he saw a beach extend for miles, something wasn’t right. Is he really here?
“You never know what to expect when you’re coming this far across the world.”
– Jordan Allen speaking with Extra Time Radio on MLSsoccer.com
A beautiful setting no doubt, although it wouldn’t end just yet. What’s better than a beach in Sydney and representing your country?
How about seeing U.S. international and MLS legend Landon Donovan in person?
Landon Donovan is a legendary player, both for club and country. He has helped usher in the sport of soccer in the U.S. and helped grow MLS into what it is today. It’s only fitting to see him back with the USMNT — as a part-time coach.
Jordan Allen welcomed Landon Donovan during training.
“He’s a great resource for us. We’re happy to have him here.”
Leading up to tomorrow’s game against Myanmar, Allen expressed the team’s high expectations. “I think we have the ability to make a pretty strong push. We have good technical players… we have the ability to get good results playing good football…”
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For a player who has only had ten matches with Real Salt Lake, he has settled in with the club. Overseas however, for his country, he’s somewhat become their go-to player.
He’s having to take on a more responsible role than before as he doesn’t have any veteran leadership to lean on like he did with RSL. But so far, he’s taken this new leadership role in stride.
“I just have to step up and be one of the main guys. I just have to make sure I’m doing everything I can to make things happen and not just being a passenger.”
For the USMNT U-20 squad that’s good news to hear, for Real Salt Lake they’ll be impressed once he returns. All of this experience will bode well because the Royals will have another voice who can help lead the club to great things in the future.