In the second and last part of an exclusive interview with Bulinews.com, 18-year-old Gladbach defender Joe Scally talks about how it felt to join up with the United States senior national team last month, his hopes of going to the World Cup next year, and much more.
|Photo: Borussia Mönchengladbach
"Everyone wants to play for their national team. To wear the U.S. badge and to be around the U.S. guys and team was great. We played against Mexico and Jamaica, and the atmosphere against Mexico, our rivals, was crazy. It was a full stadium, and there were fireworks before the game. To hear the national anthem and represent the team is amazing, and I hope to do it again."
How do you rate your chances of making the World Cup squad next year? And what would it mean to you to be part of the team?
"Of course the next World Cup is my goal. It’s a year away from now, so I just want to keep getting better. I hope to be in the squad, but that’s up to the coach."
Why did you choose to come to Gladbach? How did the move come about and did other clubs show interest in you at the time?
"I was with the youth national team, I think that was where they scouted me in the U.S. They really sold me with what they said about being a family loving club and the amazing fans. They just had a really good project for me and a path to go into the first team and build my career, so I knew this was the place for me to come. There were other clubs, but I knew this was the right club for me."
Why do you think so many youth American players choose to come to the Bundesliga?
"I think it’s a great place for Americans to come and get to the next level and keep pushing their career. In general, you can see that it’s a league where young players get trust and playing time. 'Gio' [Reyna], Jude Bellingham and Jamal Musiala, for example, are all young players, who keep excelling."
At which point did you know that you were going to make it as a footballer?
"When you sign your first deal with an MLS club, it’s still hard to make it into a team. I think the MLS coaches need to trust young players a little bit more, so they can get playing time. When you sign as a homegrown player, it’s still up on the air if this will be your career or if you need to find something else. But playing for the youth national teams helped me out a lot. When Gladbach, one of the top teams in Europe in a top five league, contacted me, I knew that my football career was just starting."
Which players did you look up to while growing up? Did you have a favorite team?
"My favorite team was Barcelona, and my idol was Dani Alves. He was my favorite right-back."
Have you always wanted to play as a full-back?
"No, when I went to the New York City FC academy team, I actually came as a central midfielder. But then someone couldn’t make a game, and I was asked if I wanted to play at right-back. I tried it, had a good game, and I ’ve just played there ever since."
Do you have a career plan?
"I haven’t really looked into the future. I’ve just been enjoying all this. Being here with Gladbach is my main focus as well as of course hopefully making the US team for the World Cup. Right now I’m very happy here.”
Check out the first part of the interview with Scally here.