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Eric Lichaj Q&A: “We need to use these opportunities to … improve now in the last few months before the World Cup.”


ussoccer.com: This is your first call up to the National Team in a while. What’s it like being back on the roster ?
Eric Lichaj: “It feels good seeing some familiar faces, some guys I haven’t seen in a really long time. It’s good to be back in the mix after a little over two years now.”

ussoccer.com: What was your reaction when you received the call from Jurgen asking you to join the team for the friendlies against Scotland and Austria ?
EL: “I was really excited. I got a call on Friday after training from the manager and he just said he wanted me to come in. I told him I was really excited because I was. Last time I had a thigh injury, plus I was having my first child. It’s been a year now since that happened. Time’s passed, and I’m looking forward to this camp.”

ussoccer.com: How did your first training session with the team go ?
EL: “It’s good. Some of the guys were a bit jet-lagged, but for me personally it was a one-hour flight, so I was feeling fresh. It was good just to get some of the guys working and stretched out. Everything is looking good.”

ussoccer.com: What do you hope to accomplish with the team while you are in camp for the next week ?
EL: “For the team, every player is trying to impress to get to the World Cup obviously. For me personally, I’m just trying to do what I do best. Hopefully, that will be enough for the manager to bring me in for the next camp. So, I’ll just keep working hard towards that.”

ussoccer.com: What kind of opportunity do these two friendlies present you and the team ?
EL: “These are two good games in Europe. We always talked about playing in these kinds of games in Europe on these kinds of nights where everybody is tested at the highest level. We need to use these opportunities to see where we’re at individually, where we’re at as a team, and where we can improve now in the last few months before the World Cup.”

ussoccer.com: You have gotten off to a good start to the season with your club Nottingham Forest of the English League Championship. What has gone right for you there ?
EL: “Yeah, off to a great start. Obviously, the way things work in that city, emotions are high and people are excited and it’s great to be a part of that. Having said that, there’s still a feeling within the team that it’s just a start and there are a lot of games left. We want to make sure we are continuing to improve on that good start and make it count at the end.”

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