Boyd takes success in stride, eyes bigger opportunities for club and country

Terrence Boyd 1 (Getty Images)


By FRANCO PANIZO

ORLANDO, Fla. — When Terrence Boyd found out he would start in the U.S. men's national team's friendly against Scotland last week, he could not help but smile. Boyd was happy as can be knowing he would get a big chance to prove his worth in just his second cap with the United States, and he called his parents to share his excitement.

Exciting times like that one have been the norm during the last few months for the German-American striker, who has gone from a relatively unknown player playing with the Borussia Dortmund reserves to being considered one of the top talents in the U.S. pipeline.

Consider that in just the last six months Boyd has gone from being a striker on the U.S. U-23 men's national team to getting his first cap with the full team in February in a historic win over Italy, to starting his first match for the latter against Scotland this past Saturday. It's been a whirlwind few months, but that's not enough to satisfy Boyd's hunger.

"It's going pretty fast, and it should keep on like this," said Boyd. "That's what I always wanted and worked for. It's still surprising that I'm here right now, but I just give everything. I don't look (back) at it. I'll lay back when I'm back home and have vacation, then okay I can say 'It's been a good year now,' but I just keep on working then we'll see what's going on."

While Boyd is not looking back on his recent success yet, he is looking ahead in terms of his club situation. Boyd and his agent, Konstantin Liolios, are in current discussions with several clubs (including Austrian outfit Rapid Vienna) about a potential move that could see the 21-year-old make his professional debut at the club level.

Yes, the forward who is continuing to raise his profile in American soccer circles has yet to make a first-team appearance with his club. He spent the past season playing for Bundesliga champions Borussia Dortmund's reserves, and although he fared well with that team in the Regionalliga (fourth division) by scoring 20 times and helping the club gain promotion, he believes his future lies elsewhere.

"It is done," said Boyd of his time with Borussia Dortmund. "I could come back, but to be honest if you just look at it right now, Borussia wants to extend my contract to like three or four years, but then I'll be like striker No. 3 or 4. And they're buying a new one now, too. I'm coming from the second team and I don't feel like I'm getting a real fair shot."

Boyd is hoping to claim a starting spot wherever he winds up, and his combination of size, speed and skill should give him a good chance to do so at several clubs. In fact, those traits are part of the reason why Boyd earned a surprise call-up to the U.S. men's national team's friendly in Italy.

"His work rate (is) outstanding and his hunger for finishing off chances is tremendous," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. "It's something that we really love to see. That's why we keep working with him and giving him those opportunities."

Boyd also got an opportunity to be part of the U.S. U-23 Olympic qualifying team in March, and although he fared well there, the team did not. Boyd scored twice in the final group stage match versus El Salvador, but that was not enough to assure the Americans advancement into the next round.

For Boyd, the disappointment of failing to qualify for the Summer Games still lingers.

"We were talking about it too, Juan (Agudelo) and Joe Corona, we were like 'We still can't believe we didn't make it,'" said Boyd. "For me, it's like the worst thing that's ever happened to me in my little career that's been lasting for two years now. We thought we were going to make it somehow anyway, because with our players we had the best players. It's just a shame."

Boyd may look back on that tournament in pain, but he was his usual cheerful self when describing how he thought he fared in the win over Scotland this past Saturday. In the 5-1 victory, Boyd showed off his work rate, ability to shoot with both feet and habit of getting into dangerous spots in the attacking third.

He was a little slow in his decision-making in front of goal, but he readily admits that and still feels he did well overall.

"I think I did a good performance," said Boyd. "I could have been clever on some situations when I could have shot, but it's okay. It's experience. You learn from it . Next game you'll be a bit clever and you'll score more goals."

Boyd's next potential chance to do that might be as difficult as they come. The U.S. team takes on Brazil on Wednesday at FedEx Field in Landover, Md, and Boyd could be given a second straight start due to Jozy Altidore's recent arrival in camp.

Boyd will need to take everything he's learned in the past few months and apply them if he does suit up against the tougher Brazil side. Should he manage to do that and build on his performance against Scotland, he might have another reason to call his parents with exciting news.

This entry was posted in Americans Abroad, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to Boyd takes success in stride, eyes bigger opportunities for club and country

  1. elgringorico says:

    Boyd is clearly a great talent for the future. But let’s give Herc a start tomorrow and see what he can do.

  2. Yellow Submarine says:

    I think Boyd’s size/presence were a huge asset, despite his nervousness on the ball and poor first touches at times.

    All respect to Jozy but Boyd attacked the ball in the air and showed a lot of hunger to show for the ball.

    If he continues to develop, we could have a really nice problem going forward on who starts up top and if we need to go towards a 2 forward alignment.

  3. Yellow Submarine says:

    Last note: I think his work rate demanded attention and helped open things up for our wingers/midfielders to attack, too.

    Watching him off the ball was awesome. He didn’t stop and constantly made attacking movements.

    Also, unlike Timothy Chandler, I love that he appears to care about playing for the US and that pride/passion will make him a fan favorite for years to come.

  4. crocajun says:

    He’s got a hunger to score that’s evident every time he touches the ball. Can’t wait to see where he ends up.

  5. Shane says:

    +1

  6. Juan says:

    Not a problem for me. Jozy has been number 1 due to lack of competition for that spot. I think Boyd is faster, more mobile and works harder. If he starts scoring, Jozy is gonna wonder what happened and could end up watching

    I do not expect Jozy to start and maybe not even play. He cannot be in any kind of shape since he hasnt played in a very long time

  7. PanchoMiguelMoralesdeConejo says:

    I love Herc, but if there is one area of need in the 1 Target formation we played last time, it’s that the forward has to hold the ball up. This is not Herc’s strong suit…not that he can’t do it “OK”; but if we want Herc to succeed then he’d be better off starting alongside Boyd (or Jozy)in a 4-4-2 rather than in place of him in the 4-3-3 (4-5-1).

  8. Mike says:

    So, he has never played a first team game for his club and his highest level of competition is the Bundesliga IV…and people are ready to hand him the starting job over Altidore? Oh, and his only 1 yr. the junior of Jozy.

  9. Tyler says:

    Even if he ends up playing in the 2.Bundesliga or Austrian Bundesliga I think that would be a positive step in his career. For now he must focus on sharpening/refining his game, and getting more appearances against tougher opponents.

  10. bryan says:

    they don’t play the same position. it’s not a simple swap one for the other.

  11. Michael F says:

    Anyone who thinks he’s better than Jozy is crazy.

  12. Ozzy says:

    Just think how great we will be when we find 7 more Germans

  13. fff says:

    Perhaps the inverse is true.

  14. bryan says:

    i’d really like to see him find a Bundesliga club to play for. there has to be one interested in a player like him. it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

  15. Mike says:

    Yes, I see how one could say that based upon his 75 minutes of Senior International Play and the 0 minutes he has logged as a first team professional.

  16. crocajun says:

    A few days ago people were also calling for LD to be benched.

    Jozy hasn’t had a bad game in a USMNT jersey in quite awhile and is coming off of the best full club season of his professional career. He’s already #10 on the all-time USA scoring list and he’s only 22.

    Jozy will always have his haters, but at this point he’s miles ahead of his competition.

  17. vik says:

    Haha, yea. Boyd does have a tremendous workrate and mobility; but I think if he and Altidore both play in a game people will appreciate the experience Altidore brings in holdup play, passing, winning fouls, and even finishing.

    It’s an interesting debate. No doubt Boyd’s movement did an awful lot for us vs. Scotland. I think Jozy will be up to the challenge if he plays against Brazil.

  18. ACC says:

    Much Adu about a guy that hasn’t cracked the first team line up yet

  19. argon says:

    +1

  20. Bird says:

    If anything people should be saying how Boyd coming onto the scene is a good thing for Jozy as it will give him a challenge and push him to work harder in training for the Nats. Jozy is 22yr old and has played in a WC, Gold Cups, Confed Cup, WCQ, Europa, La Liga, EPL, and Eredivisie….I dont think Boyd will surpass him anytime soon but hopefully they will push eachother in training and learn from eachother. Personally I dont like his attitude with Dortmund, he should take it as a challenge and put his nose down and work hard to make the team. Yes Dortmund just bought Reus, but Kagawa will leave and there is speculation that Lewandowski will leave. They sold Zidan and Barrios and will be competing in Champs League, Budesliga and Pokal so they will need depth. Its one of the best coached and most exciting teams in football. He needs to work his butt off to stay there and maybe take a loan deal for PT.

  21. What if says:

    Well if he played in MLS he more than likely would have cracked the 1st team line up

  22. felix says:

    +2

    Boyd showed good hold-up and linking play, and had a great work rate, but the final product wasn’t there.

    There’s other guys in the system who can do what Boyd did and be dangerous. He’s close, but he needs more seasoning on the club level before he becomes a national team staple.

  23. jb says:

    “If anything people should be saying how Boyd coming onto the scene is a good thing for Jozy as it will give him a challenge and push him to work harder in training for the Nats. ”

    I think that is exactly what Klinnsman wanted, and props to him for making it happen. When he plays with passion, Jozy is an absolute beast and easily our best striker. That said, I love Boyd’s hunger and his potential. Cant wait to see where these two guys can get to if they push each other.

  24. Felix says:

    You read some of these comments here and you just laugh, its like the Adu, Altidore, EJ, Agudelo, Bunbury hype all over again. He had one start against a Scottish side who was mentally on vacation and people already want to name him the #1 striker before he’s played in the top flight – its moronic.

  25. dibo says:

    I agree. vs Scotland we had a lot of the ball, and we needed someone to stretch the game – threaten to break to goal – like Torres used to do for Spain. Jozy’s off the ball movement to me is suspect at times – wants ball too often played to his feet.

  26. jon says:

    American blood is American blood.

  27. betamale says:

    You have to keep in mind that there’s so many new fans to the game here in the States so much of what you read (even from journalists) isn’t based on many years of knowledge, just gut reaction.

    The same people who thought (and hoped) Klinsmann was going to bomb really show their lack of knowledge of the game.

  28. biff says:

    Agree with that. I think Boyd’s best bet would be one of the top teams of the 2. Bundesliga. As I mentioned on another thread a few days ago, St. Pauli would be an ideal team for Boyd. St. Pauli’s top forward, Max Kruse, was snatched up a couple of weeks ago by Freiburg, and St. Pauli is in desperate need of more offensive firepower and Boyd could probably be a starter. Plus, St. Pauli has an excellent coach, Andre Schubert, and a new sporting director with a good resume and St. Pauli is a favorite next season to win a ticket to the 1. Bundesliga. They finished fourth this season, just one measly point behind Dusseldorf, which moved up to the top Bundesliga.

    Speaking of transfers, if the USMNT continues in the next four games to play as well as it did against Scotland, then no doubt some of the guys are going to be catching the attention of club scouts. Herc Gomez was hinting in a recent interview that he aspires to move up to the next level. If Edu can keep playing well I bet some decent clubs this summer will be pounding on his door. Ditto with Michael Bradley Geoff Cameron and Jose Torres and maybe even Kyle Beckerman. I would not be surprised if Klinsmann, with his connections, is spreading the word about certain players. I have a feeling we are going to see exciting transfers this summer and my gut feeling is that Landon Donovan, after that misleading interview he gave last week, is going plotting to finally jump ship (SS LA Galaxy) for Europe–at least I hope so. I think he’s great.

  29. hogatroge says:

    +1

    Nice to seem some logic.

  30. biff says:

    Did they *think* Klinsmann was going to fail, or did they *hope* he was going to fail. You use both words and there is a major distinction between the two. The way I see it, there was and still is a small group of people hoping that Klinsmann fails. But it is not, as you say, because of “their lack of knowledge of the game.” I think it is rather because they are strong supporters of the previous coach and they do not want to see his successor (Klinsmann) succeed. (And I bet many of them were crying like babies Saturday night after the Klinsmann-led USMNT demolished Scotland 5-1.)

    So tell me, how would you rate the soccer knowledge of the great majority of USMNT fans who were happy and excited when Klinsmann took over the team last July and who have strongly supported him since then?

  31. GW says:

    Crocajun,

    Where is the team photo for the Scotland game?

    If Boyd is in there and is not in the Altidore half knee bend position, then you know he is a better player than Jozy.

    Has to be.

  32. elgringorico says:

    The position may not be a single swap but the player is.

  33. GW says:

    American passport = American

    unless you are Jason Bourne; of course he is from Missouri so scratch that.

  34. 2tone says:

    Great potential. Will challenge Jozy to be better. Can you imagine how good this guy is going to be when he is playing first team soccer week in and week out.

    Same thing has happened to Jozy this past season. Jozy is playing first team soccer week in and week out, and really looks like he is finally coming inot his own. Great things are on the horizon for the USMNT.

    By next summer’s Gold Cup we could potentially have three or 4 target strikers in top form fighting for spots on the roster i.e. Altidore, Boyd, Wooten and Agudelo. Oh man thats going to be sick. How long has it been since CONCACAF opponenets have had to play against a striker in top form from the U.S.?

    Altidore will probably make life hell for Brasil tomorrow because he is coming in to this game in great form. Altidore will wear them out in the first 70 minutes, and then fresh wanting to make an impact Boyd will come in and terroirize them for the final 20 to 25 minutes. Can’t wait for the game. Not only that Dempsey will be used as a sub as well.

  35. crocajun says:

    GW,

    Of course, how could I forget the ultimate sign of ability…the knee bend picture stance.

  36. Mike says:

    Huh?

  37. crocajun says:

    As we’ve seen from Jozy’s career a lot of Boyd’s development depends on where he ends up. Hopefully he’ll find a good situation.

    Still, as you said, the possibility of having the best stable of strikers the US team has ever produced is exciting.

    (Just to be clear, not saying Jozy, Boyd, Agudelo ect are the best US strikers ever…just the deepest stable of talented strikers we’ve ever had. Put down the pitch forks and torches.)

  38. Adi from Oregon says:

    And another group of US soccer fans (like me) hoped Klinsi was going to be great for US soccer in general because he was a proved WC coach and is now starting to show great US game RESULTS! I wish the USNMT and him well – alles gute, ausgezeichnet, usw!!!

  39. b says:

    They are totally different players, but Herc DID come in for Boyd against Scotland, and made a handful of very impressive plays.
    I’d like to start Herc and bring in Boyd off the bench, but I wouldn’t complain too loudly if it was vice versa once again.

  40. danny says:

    ” Guys in the system who can do what Boyd did and be dangerous” Really? Who? Boyd is a excellent prospect and while he might not be as dangerous as Jozy is right now, I think he has a higher ceiling than any other US forward, and his style of play syncs well with the NATS. But most importantly he has the right mindset for a young player. I would not start Gomez ahead of him.

  41. Turgid Jacobian says:

    May 3rd. So about 27 days. That is too long, but not by a huge amount. He probably shouldn’t play tomorrow, but bet he does (and probably starts and runs for 60) against A&B

  42. Turgid Jacobian says:

    I loved that he didn’t puss out when he got clocked against ELS.

  43. Lost in Space says:

    I think CONCACAF will be very supprised by the tactics of the US Team going forward. Not to mention the improvements in depth across the board.
    Strikers: Jozy, Boyd, Wooten, Agudelo, Sapong, Bunbury
    Attacking Mids: Dempsey, Donovan, Shea, Adu, Corona, Gatt, Bedoya, Gyau
    Defensive Mids: Jones, Bradley, Edu, Torres, Holden, Williams, Morales, Kitchen
    Wing Backs: Johnson, Dolo, Lichaj, Chandler, Castillo, Parkhurst, TBD….
    IF some of the Young fringe players advance their club performances they will really push some of the vets of this team once they get a little more experience at the club level. This is a very exciting time to be a USMNT fan…

  44. This Guy says:

    The question is: Who will be better going into the summer of 2014?

    That answer seems to be Boyd, and he honors our National Anthem unlike Jozy.

  45. hogatroge says:

    If Boyd goes to Austria, you can bet he’s going under the impression he’ll be starting. He seems like he’s got the work ethic to make that happen, too.

  46. GW says:

    My understanding of the Regionallia is that it is a full fledged league. Boyd is a regular starter and prolific scorer for Dortmund 11 there.

    I have no idea how it compares to, for example, MLS but the thing is Boyd has been playing and scoring regularly for them for some time now albeit at a lower level than the senior Dortmund team.

    In comparison, until this past season, Jozy had very little actual playing time, getting the odd reserve game here and there or being loaned out and getting bits and pieces of playing time. This past season is the first one in a long time where Jozy has had consistent regular playing time with more or less, the same players and the same manager.

    His success shows you what that kind of stability can do for you.

    And even with all the down time, Jozy is still far more experienced than Boyd; he has been a USMNT regular since 2009 and you can’t discount his experience in tournaments.

    Still Boyd is not as far behind Jozy as it might seem at first glance. I’m curious to see Wooten and of course we have Herculez, Wondo and maybe even Cooper going well.

    Imagine if EJ and Conor Casey…okay start the hate mail.

    Striker was a black hole not that long ago and all of a sudden the US striker pool seems to have a lot of guys coming good at the same time.

    Good headache for JK to have.

  47. Mike says:

    How does the answer appear to be Boyd? What precisely has Boyd done to fill you with such confidence?

  48. bryan says:

    that’s true. and he played well for sure. but i think coming on when it is 3-1 at 65 minutes helped make up for whatever he could be lacking for that role. i’m be curious to see if he could do it from the start and go until the 65th+.

  49. bryan says:

    we were also sitting at a 4-3-3 almost permanently at that point.

  50. bryan says:

    or to the Eredivisie. either way, this is good for jozy. keeps him having to battle to play.

  51. 2tone says:

    I understand Boyd is playing in the Regionalliga, but Regionalliga is nowhere near the type of competition Boyd would see in the Bundesliga, or Eredivisie, or Austrian Bundesliga. Boyd playing in a top flight league next season will further develop and hone his skills. You can tell he thinks there is more time on the ball when there clearly isn’t, adn thats due to him playing in Regionalliga.

    Times are a changing for the USMNT, and I am very excited.

  52. marco says:

    “I think CONCACAF will be very supprised by the tactics”

    The CONCACAF game officials will act accordingly. However Klinsmann will not allow the Mexican ref to signal play-on after a right cross to the nose.

  53. b says:

    Boyd is standing in the second row, all the guys in the front row are bending their knees properly (Landon, Dolo, Fabian, Torres), though. Maybe Jozy just has old man knees?

  54. Todd Jones says:

    Yeah cause Altidore always disrespects the anthem… WTF?

  55. Cochese says:

    Random thoughts:

    1. The Regionalliga is basically 4. Bundesliga, i.e.. the German 4th division. It’s tough to know exactly how it compares with more familiar leagues (like MLS) but it’s probably safe to say it’s not as good.

    2. That said, this fact cannot be overstated: Despite never having played first team club soccer, Boyd, at 21, stepped onto the field as a starter for the USMNT in front of 45K fans and from the opening whistle looked like he belonged. His performance was far from flawless, but he showed flashes of class and always seemed to know his position on the field and in the run of play. This is extremely impressive, imho.

    3. I’m a big fan of Herc. Putting aside the debate over whether he presently is a better option as starter or off the bench, I think his performance on Saturday night was a bit underrated. To wit, he was instrumental in both US goals after coming into the game – both within 10 minutes of coming onto the field. If this were hockey, where they award “double assists,” Herc would have earned two points that night. I was a little surprised that the announcers made no mention of this. It may not have been flashy, but the bottom line is that Herc was an impact player on Saturday (although I acknowledge that he was involved in goals 4 and 5, which were obviously less crucial). That said, at 30 or 31 (I forget which), he is not part of the next generation of US strikers. But I’d love to see him play a major part in the qualifying campaign.