Newest MNT Member Proud to Get the Call: Danny Williams Q & A
ussoccer.com: How have you enjoyed your first camp with the U.S. team?
Danny Williams: “I’m very excited to be here. I feel very comfortable already. Everybody on the team is very nice and they make it easy to be in with the team for the first time. I feel I like I have been here for years.”
ussoccer.com: You visited Miami earlier this year in June. Why did you make the trip?
DW: “I wanted to come to the U.S. to discover my dad’s country. I feel more American than German. People over here are very nice and open-minded, which is how I am. So I feel very comfortable. When I left, I knew that I had to come back.”
ussoccer.com: The Miami Heat was playing in the NBA Finals and you scored a ticket to Game 6. Not bad for a vacation.
DW: “My friend is a fanatical basketball fan. He told me that when we came here that we should try to go to the final game. I didn’t think there would be a chance, but we found tickets. It was an amazing experience for me. I posted some pictures on Facebook, and all my friends were jealous.”
ussoccer.com: You also met you girlfriend here in Miami. How’d you sweep her of her feet?
DW: “I was at the barber shop and I saw her across the street. I told my friend I had to meet her. He thought I was crazy, but I told him I didn’t care. It was love at first sight! We are in a relationship now, and when I go back to Germany, she is moving back with me."
ussoccer.com: When did you first know for sure that you wanted to play for the United States?
DW: “I told my dad I wanted to travel to the USA once before I could know for sure I want to play for the U.S. National Team. After my visit, I felt so connected to this nation that I knew what I wanted to do. I spoke with my dad, and he said if you have this feeling in your heart than you should make it come true.”
ussoccer.com: Who looked at it first – you or your dad?
DW: “They gave me the passport, but I didn’t look inside. I gave it to my dad first. He was so excited and happy for me and proud his son is an American.”
ussoccer.com: Where you surprised the U.S. National Team had been following your progress as a player?
DW: “I was surprised. My phone rang and the person said he was Jurgen Klinsmann. He is an idol in Germany. He came to the game against Mainz. I thought he was there to see Fabian Johnson. Afterwards, my coach came to me and said, ‘The national team coach wants to talk to you.’ I was a little bit nervous. He told me I had to get playing time and to find a rhythm, and then I would get invited. I told him I was excited and happy.”
ussoccer.com: What was the reaction from your friends and teammates when you got the invitation to come to training camp here?
DW: “They all asked me if I could believe everything that was happening. I said that right now I would just enjoy it. With the change of clubs and getting called to the national team, I didn’t have time to think about it. Everyone is very happy for me. I got lots of texts and messages on Facebook.”
DW: “I play in the center of midfield. I grew up playing in this position. I like to get a lot of touches on the ball and make passes. I prefer the middle, but I will play wherever the coach wants.”
ussoccer.com: What were your initial impressions about the level of football with this team?
DW: “I am very positive about this team. There is a lot of quality and it’s a very high level. Now we have to get to know each other a little bit and learn how each other work. It’s only going to get better.”
DW: Not really surprised because I already know some of the players like Steve Cherundolo, Michael Bradley, and even Tim Howard when he was with Manchester United. When I came here, I was a little bit surprised that the level was so high throughout the team.”
DW: “Not many because they don’t show that many games in Germany, but I always watch in the World Cup. I will never forget the game against Germany in the 2002 World Cup in the quarterfinal. This was the time that I started loving the USA. I watched the game, and normally I would support Germany. After the U.S. lost that match, I started crying. My dad asked what was going on. I didn’t know what to say, but I wanted the U.S. to win.”
ussoccer.com: Obviously it means a lot to you and your dad that you are now representing the U.S. What does it feel like wearing the U.S. crest?
DW: “It feels weird in a positive way. I watched them playing on TV, and now I’m here and have a chance to play with them. I’m so proud to be a member of this nation and this team. I really look forward to playing.”
ussoccer.com: There will be a big feeling of pride when you play your first game…
DW: My dad is so excited. He was born and raised here, and served in the U.S. Army. When I wear the jersey and the national anthem is playing, I know I will have goose bumps.”