Young U.S. squad aims to realize potential at Qatar World Cup
As U.S. soccer’s new U-23 national team prepares to depart for the World Cup in Germany, the squad’s players — more than 50 of them — say the experience will turn them into the soccer players they want to be.
U-23 teammates from the team are from seven different countries, and four of the players are from New Hampshire.
They have come together to try to achieve some of their dreams, said the group’s head coach, Brian Ching Lin, who is from Hong Kong and graduated from Dartmouth. (The rest of the U.S. team is from New York.)
“I love the country, everyone’s great, and I really want them to enjoy every moment,” said Ching, 37. “I tell them, ‘There is no rush, enjoy the game and the people.’ And that’s what I believe.”
The U-23 team — the youngest in major men’s soccer — is composed of players who still have time to reach their peak in soccer. The team will be among the largest in the tournament, with 12 players per side. There are 23 nations competing in Germany.
The U.S. team is the youngest of its kind, and the first to be fielded by a major men’s club before a major national team.
Ching Lin has put together a team that is as talented as any he has ever coached. He has his assistant coaches on each side of the ball, and they are all from the U.S.
“We are trying to find players that we think would go far in the world and that want to be here,” Ching said. “These players have the potential to go to the next level.”
While the team looks to improve its consistency, the players have different goals when it comes to their soccer careers.