German-born striker Boyd making his mark with U.S. Under-23 national team

TerrenceBoyd (Getty)


BRADENTON, Fla. — Terrence Boyd should have been sent off on Thursday.

After delivering a clumsy and dangerous challenge on Zarek Valentin in the second half of the U.S. Under-23 men's national team's intrasquad scrimmage, Boyd was given a second yellow card. That would normally result in a sending off, but this was a glorified scrimmage after all, so on the field he remained.

What Boyd did to respond was something that's becoming somewhat of a constant with the U.S. U-23 team. He scored a goal.

As the scrappy game continued, the 20-year-old forward broke the deadlock when he shot a laser past Zac MacMath from 25 yards out. The goal stood as the winner, though Boyd's White Team defeated the Blue Team, 2-0.

"I got the ball outside of the box, just went past three defenders and just tried to give it a try," said Boyd of his third goal in four matches with the U.S. U-23 team. "I shot it with the toes like Ronaldo and it almost went to the angle, so it was a good one."

The goal wasn't the only good moment Boyd had in the match. He proved to be a headache for the Blue Team's defense with his combination of strength and skill, and he almost scored earlier in the game when a low shot caromed off the near post.

"I thought Terrence did very well. He's a gamer," said head coach Caleb Porter, who had Boyd as captain of the White Team. "You could see in that second half when the chips are down, he wanted the ball and he wanted to win and he wanted to score goals. We need that.

"He showed some of his spunk," Porter said. "He got carried away on one and I pulled him over and it was a teachable moment and I told him it was probably a red card. He agreed and went out and then scored a goal."

Boyd's performance in the match was the latest piece of evidence that the German-American is developing into one of the better forward prospects in the U.S. pipeline.

He is off to a strong start with the U-23 team at Borussia Dortmund, scoring 10 goals in 15 matches. That scoring run was enough to convince full team manager Jurgen Klopp to have Boyd dress for a league game earlier this season. The young striker did not see the field that day for the reigning Bundesliga champions, but it was still an unforgettable experience for him.

"That was fantastic because Borussia Dortmund has a lot of fans," Boyd said. "We had a home game against Cologne, we won 5-0 and there were 80,000 people. It's a dream to play there one day."

Boyd may be hoping to break into the full team more consistently during the second half of the season, but he admits it's up to his coaches to decide when it's time for him to do so. Until then, Boyd says he will continue to do his job with the reserve team.

Should he remain with Borussia Dortmund's second team, it seems likely that he will continue to receive call-ups by Porter for U.S. U-23 team camps, including the upcoming camps in January and February before Olympic qualifying takes place in March.

Boyd, however, can also represent Germany at the international level. Born in Bremen to an American serviceman and German mother, Boyd has not shut the door on Die Mannschaft, though he insists he enjoys playing for the United States.

"Right now I'm with the U.S. camp, so it says that I would love to play for the (United States)," said Boyd. "I mean I don't know, since I'm not playing for any (full) national team I don't have to think about it yet. It would be an honor for both teams, but I have to say for me, USA is the best country in the world."

Earlier in camp, Boyd had more kind words towards being able to represent the United States.

"If you're able to wear the uniform of the USA," said Boyd, "then you'll do anything for it."

Even if that means tackling teammates to earn a roster spot.

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48 Responses to German-born striker Boyd making his mark with U.S. Under-23 national team

  1. Marlon says:

    Zarek Valentin’s podcast interview with Boyd makes him come off as pretty endearing:
    link to

  2. Scott e Dio says:

    Good read. I hope this kid becomes the finisher we need for USNT.

  3. torporindy says:

    How many more of these guys are there? We could field a German born team.

  4. DingDong says:

    Do the Olympic qualifiers cap tie players for FIFA purposes?

  5. Marlon says:

    I don’t think so. The Olympics might though.

  6. berd says:

    No. The qualifying rounds and the Olympics are not FIFA tournaments so they don’t cap tie any players.

  7. DingDong says:

    Because the qualifiers are strictly U-23, while some senior players are allowed at the actual Olympics?

  8. Tim in NC says:

    Neither the OQs or Olympics will cap tie for a country, since it is not considered to be a full international tournament. That is a shame, since I see a number of our guys that are up in the air about which country to choose being called up.

    A lot has been said re: not wanting players that are dual-citizen, other country’s cast-offs, etc. For those people who think that, I feel that you disrespect that player’s lineage. They face a tough decision, and we as a nation of soccer fans should embrace either decision, whether it be for the Nats or not. That said, I hope they all choose the USA!

  9. DingDong says:

    Does anyone understand how “one-time” switches work? It’s my understanding that Fabian Johnson is effectively cap-tied to the US, because he filed a one-time switch from Germany and because it’s a “one-time” switch, he can’t switch back.

    By playing in the Olympics, would Boyd have to file a “one-time” switch to play for Germany?

  10. Brian says:








    Royal-Dominique Fennell (CB)

    Andrew Wooten (ST)

    Jerome Kiesewetter (ST)

    Shawn Parker (ST) (Still has yet to switch to USMNT)

  11. Aaron in StL says:

    If he somehow makes a mark at the senior level soon for Borussia would be interesting to see if he gets a call in for a qualifier. I’m sure JK wouldn’t mind giving him a run out vs. Barbados or another minnow (if we even play any of those this cycle).

    From what little video I’ve seen of him we could sure use someone with his natural feel for the game. That aspects is what separates him from the other big, physical guys we normally have up top

  12. DingDong says:

    Excellent comment.

  13. Brian says:

    Fabian Johnson had to file a one time switch because he had official youth caps (Euro Championships with German U21) and because he was over 21 at the time of his switch to the USMNT.

    Teal Bunbury on the other hand had an official youth cap with a Canadian youth team (Concacaf Championship with Canada’s U20 or U21) but did not have to file a switch to play for the USMNT in friendlies against South Africa and Chile because he was under 21 at the time. However he would have had to file a one-time switch to play in the official match (like the Gold Cup, or a World Cup qualifier) which is what he ended up doing earlier this year (I imagine he did that because he was hoping to make Bob’s Gold Cup squad).

    Boyd will not have to file a one-time switch to play for Germany because he has not played in any official matches (youth or senior level) for the USMNT and Olympic qualifiers nor the Olympics are official matches. This is the same reason everyone freaks out about Timmy Chandler leaving us.

  14. wilyboy says:

    It shouldn’t be too hard to cap him and other forward prospects, the pool isn’t that deep at the moment. Having said that, it looks like he’s making life difficult for anyone wanting to understudy Jozy for that target role. Will be very interested to see Jozy and Boyd in the same camp.

  15. David says:

    The article seem to indicate that Boyd is very driven. He clearly sees camp as a live or die struggle to get a spot on the roster. I like it!

  16. marco says:

    Will Bunbury be the man out if Jozy and Boyd both go to the Olympics? Porter can’t carry three on 18 man roster.

  17. David says:

    I would not worry a lot about switches. For these young men, of African American decent, growing up in Germany, I suspect the road has been difficult. The desire to play for the US is likely as much about identity as it is about opportunity. I would be very surprised to see many of them switch back to Germany.

  18. chris says:

    Its unlikely he makes it, lots of good talent and I would put Agudelo ahead of him too

  19. fischy says:

    The team is known as Borussia Dortmund, or Dortmund.

  20. Vic says:

    Feeling I get about Boyd is that he won’t be a problem as far as committing the the United States. Not only has he said he wants to play for USA, he’s also been telling other German-Americans to play for USA.

  21. Jacob says:

    Guys its pretty simple. These players will play for the U.S. if Germany doesn’t come calling. If Germany came calling for Boyd, which is unlikely at this point, he would undoubtedly switch affiliations. But that’s not the case, so he’s prepared to play for the U.S. To think that these players would choose a country they’ve never lived in over their home country (if they could play for either team) is just foolish

  22. Drew says:

    Soccer is their job/business. Big money to be made as a German international. They both would jump at it in a second. I hope they don’t but that is the reality of the business end of soccer.

    I have no idea what your racism rant is about. German cities are just as “multi cultural” as any similar US city these days.

  23. David says:

    I did say anything about racism. That seems to be your hang up. Having your foot in two cultures is a difficult road period.

  24. marco says:

    Not sure, but I think Agudelo is getting a try at wing.

  25. Louis Z says:

    I would agree with you if it was 25-30 years ago. Germany is pretty much current with the times, hence why lots of US soldiers end up living in Germany.

  26. Karol says:

    The question remains, why Terrence Boyd actually plays for the U.S. selection? Theoretically, he could and should compete for Germany. Boyd (…) has both the German and the American nationality. “I feel attracted to both but the DFB is still no one came up to me,” said Boyd, who regarded the whole affair but quite relaxed. “My heart beats for both teams, yes, of course I would not be averse to playing for the U 21 of the DFB,” smiled Boyd.

    link to

  27. Dimidri says:

    There is one wild card-their dad’s were all in the US military. That might make them feel differently.

    Also just to clarify, while Germany is considered to be one of the most progressive nations in the world by almost any indicator and has done a tremendous job in the aftermath of the Holocaust and World War II, there are still fringe but existent pockets of extreme right nationalism/racism that are slightly more mainstream than their counterparts in the US. In places like Saxon for example, far-right neo-Nazi political parties have some power in local parliments.

  28. Louis Z says:

    I agree with you. Bunbury had a straight road to the Olys for us until the emergence of Boyd. My guess is Bunbury will make the qualifiers squad but will be drop when/if we make the Olys. This doesn’t only apply to him but for others that will helps out but will get bumped off by the senior 3 players.

  29. JCC says:

    Not necessarily. Americans might value military service as the world’s highest honor, but it doesn’t mean other countries do. It also depends how involved their fathers were in their lives.I’m always amused at how US soccer fans tend to think of American soccer players as saints without ulterior motives.

  30. David says:

    We are never going to know the exact reasons. We can imagine many such as: Feeling a connection with one country or another, feelings about identity, wanting to please family, agents or promoters pushing one direction or another, or cold financial calculation. Regardless, I would not take what is said to the press as gospel. Boyd has to show up and play for BD on Monday and will say nothing that might upset fans. Still, I am reasonably confident that they are sincere in their desire to play for the US, for whatever reason or combination of reasons, and are unlikely to switch.

  31. David says:

    I don’t believe these young players are being driven by racism in Germany. No player as made any statements that would lead us to believe that they have been victims in any way. That said, being of African American decent and the son of a US solder would influence how the player feels about their identity.

  32. Goalscorer24 says:

    Have to admit it would hurt if he plays for the US at the olympics, does real well, and then goes and plays for the German national team!

  33. Louis Z says:

    Yeah, it has cross my mind, if he just goes nuts in the Olys and then gets the attention of the German Federation, what would he do?

  34. Andy says:

    That’s a pretty cynical view. You gotta believe some of these guys feel pride for the USA regardless of the country they grew up in. Their dads are American, and they have most likely had a love of the US instilled in them as they grew up. I think some would stay even if Germany came calling.

  35. GW says:

    Huertzeler has yet to switch and it is looking like he won’t.

  36. GW says:

    If Chandler, for example, becomes a great player, he will make the big money by moving to a big club. No one will care if he plays for Germany, the US or American Samoa. If he is good enough to play for say Bayern Munich then he is is good enough period.

    Jermaine Jones spoke quite openly about his difficulty in fitting in over there.

    Having one foot in several cultures I can tell you it makes life complicated. It may be mostly about race or not but to discount that possibility either makes you naive or far worse, puts you in Sepp Blatter’s class.

  37. GW says:

    Louis Z,

    The day any SB poster knows exactly what the complete motivation for any of these dual nationals will be the first day.

    If any of them decide to go back and can then you live with it. You have no choice.

    By the way, Germany doesn’t necessarily put that much weight into a stand out Olympic performance like we might. Loew will be much more interested in how Boyd does for Dortmund and if Boyd is still 0 for 0 in terms of club appearances,then I really doubt Loew will call him up.

    If Boyd starts to tear up the Bundesliga then you worry.

  38. Award says:

    Well the exciting thing is that Wooten and George are also very exciting strikers/FWDS. Wooten has alraeady made it clear that he will only represent the U.S. If Boyd was to attract the attention of the DFB and decided to play for Germany than at least we would still have Wooten and George. Wooten is a goal scoring machine and has been playing just as well as Boyd. We have options now at strikier. Losing Boyd(if that were too happen) wouldn’t hurt the USMNT as much as when Rossi decided to represent Italy. We have many exciting strikers/FWDS coming up the ranks. Hopefully Boyd will stay with the USMNT and lead a new corps of young exciting strikers.

  39. PetedeLA says:

    David has a good point.

    As multicultural as Germany is, Patrick Owomoyela had a “special page” on a neo-Nazi skin head website that tried to garner hatred against him.

    So yes, Germany in many ways is less color blind than the US.

    But there are still issues.

  40. Award says:

    Oh and I wouldn’t put it past Klinsmann to call Boyd up for the February friendly. I wouldn’t be surprised if he called in both Wooten and Boyd.

  41. b says:

    If anyone should know that you can’t refer to Borussia Dortmund as just Borussia, it’s USMNT fans!

  42. b says:

    I think four forwards will make the cut:



  43. Lost in Space says:

    We could potentially see Jozy left off the Olympic team if the Federation determines that it’s in the federations best interest to find/develop other capable strikers. Jozy already has 30+ Caps for the senior national team, so it may be to our benifit to give some others the international experience.

  44. PabloP says:

    I remember when Boyd was part of the group we had at Hertha with Morales, Loughlin, and Arguez. He was the least known of the 4 but got consistent good reports for his potential. I remembered thinking of Arguez as the head case, Loughlin as injury-prone, Morales as the hardworking but minor prospect, and Boyd as the sink or swim candidate. Happy to see him swimming.

  45. Louis Z says:

    on a 18 player roster I just don’t think we will care 4 forwards, I think just 3. fullbacks my guess is 7 and about 7 mids.

  46. Louis Z says:

    if he continues at this pace, he might start to walk on water.

  47. Louis Z says:

    opps, I meant “carry” 3 forwards. I think also messed up my match since we will be taking 2 golies, so make that 2 golies, 6 FBs, 7 Mids, 3 Forwards.

  48. Brian says:

    Oops I forgot he got a call up with the German U19’s in November.