By Simon Evans
MANHATTAN BEACH, California (Reuters) - English-born Major League Soccer forward Dominic Dwyer expects to move closer to a call-up to the United States national team after revealing he will apply for U.S. citizenship next month.
The 26-year-old from Sussex was part of Norwich City’s youth teams but suffered a series of injuries and moved to the United States on a scholarship in 2009.
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He was drafted by Sporting Kansas City in 2012 and has scored 53 goals in 113 appearances for the club.
“February 14 marks five years of me having my green card so I will be eligible for citizenship on that day and my paperwork is sitting waiting to be sent on that day and then we will see how the citizenship process goes from there,” Dwyer told reporters at MLS’s annual media day.
The striker said he had talked to the U.S. Soccer Federation about the process and how to become available to national team coach Bruce Arena.
“We have had conversations, we are working towards (it), there are regulations you have to go through with FIFA, we are getting there,” he said.
While it was not uncommon for British-born players to feature for the United States in the earlier years of the growth of soccer in the country, there have been few examples of late with many of the dual-nationals now coming from Germany or Mexico.
But Dwyer said that while he is honored to be talked of as a potential U.S. national team player, he is aware that he will face a fight to break into the squad.
“I think it is a dream of any footballer to play on the international stage so to be in that conversation for me is an absolute honor. Five years ago nobody knew who I was so that is a big, big honor,” he said.
“But that is a strong side, you have some fantastic players in that squad. If I am selected, I would be honored, I hope I can get an opportunity and take it,” he said.
“I have been here about nine years now, it is almost like my second home, if not my home. I love this country and it has given a lot to me so if I ever get the opportunity to give something back to it, that is something I would jump at,” he said.
Dwyer’s performances in MLS have brought him to the attention of European clubs but he said that for the moment he was focused on winning with Kansas City.
“When I was growing up I always dreamed of playing in the Premier League, that was for me the top thing. Now I have come over to America, that wasn’t really my plan but I have started to establish myself here and I am really enjoying myself.
"The dream is always to play at the highest level for me, whether that is internationally, in different leagues or countries, I really don’t know what the future holds,” he said.
(Editing by Peter Rutherford)