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.
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