Dillon Powers was one of the youngest members of the U.S. U-20 Men's National Team during the FIFA 2009 U-20 World Cup. Two years later Powers joins the team again, this time as a leader bringing his experience and skill to Thomas Rongen’s talented squad that’s working towards securing a spot in the FIFA 2011 U-20 World Cup.
Dillon Powers is no stranger to the U.S. U-20 Men’s National Team.
During the 2008-09 Development Academy season he quickly rose onto the national radar while playing for Andromeda SC in Texas. He then made the jump into Thomas Rongen’s roster in 2009 and has been a staple of the team ever since.
Powers was named Development Academy Player of the Year in the 2008-09 and at the end of the season Rongen heeded advice from scouts and technical advisors and called the Plano, Texas, native into the final training camp before the 2009 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
Two years younger than most of the players in camp, and not even enrolled in college yet, Powers knew he had a lot to learn.
“Last time I was going in with the mentality like, ‘let’s see what I can do,’” he said. “I didn’t really expect too much.”
Just two years later, the Notre Dame sophomore is coming into this World Cup qualifying campaign with 13 caps for the U-20s under his belt. One of only four college players on the roster, the 20-year-old doesn’t let that hold him back.
“Psychologically I can’t tell myself, ‘I’m in college so I’m not going to be able to keep up’, because if so it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Powers said. “I just have to have confidence in my own ability and then not really worry about what situation I’m in or anyone else is in and just take it as the best player plays and that way I think I can be a leader.”
Despite his experience at the World Cup, this will be the first qualifying campaign for Powers after joining the team so late in the 2009 cycle. At this point with the current group, he is grateful for the opportunity to form strong relationships with his teammates.
“Watching this team develop from the beginning and getting to know my teammates better is important,” Powers said. “Knowing each other off the field doesn’t translate exactly, but in the end, it’s fun to be on the field with these guys and kind of stick it out for each other.”
After fighting to overcome an injury, Powers will be one of the many leaders on the U.S. team when it heads to Guatemala to take on Suriname and Panama, and hopefully compete in the quarterfinal with a World Cup berth on the line.
“I’m excited for qualifying and I think it’s great to go through the process of having to earn a spot in the World Cup,” Powers said. “I’m also excited to play in a meaningful game because we play a lot of games but most of them are friendlies. This is what we’re working towards and it’s exciting. We expect anything can happen. I’m excited for this team and I think we have the chance to do well.”