The New York Times' Jack Bell interviews Watford's American central defender, Jay DeMerit, who's celebrating his first call-up to the U.S. national team for the friendlies against Ecuador Sunday and Guatemala next Wednesday. For one thing, DeMerit says, training and playing in Tampa and then Frisco, Texas, offers a nice break from those gray English winters. "It's a good break from the monotony of everyday training and a long English season, which lasts 10 months and is six days a week," he said.
It's also the first time DeMerit has been able play with most of his
fellow compatriots-DeMerit, after all, left the U.S. after college to
pursue his dream of playing in the Premiership. He's never played
professionally anywhere but in England. "This has been an opportunity
to take a step back from the season, meet some new guys," the 27-year
old said, adding: "Thankfully, I was called in for these games; I think
I've done enough the last few years to deserve a chance ... this is only
going to make me better."
DeMerit is one of five relatively new players called into Coach Bob
Bradley's camp from clubs overseas. Three players -- DeMerit, Hamburg's
Benny Feilhaber, and Sheffield Wednesday's Frank Simek -- have never
played for the senior national team. Michael Bradley of Dutch club
Heerenveen and Charlton's Jonathan Spector are the other two. Read the original story...