Dom Dwyer Returns to Tampa Looking to Write More U.S. MNT History

Dom Dwyer, USF, University of South Florida, Two Goals in Two Games, Gold Cup, Martinique, Panama Goal, Ghana Goal, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. MNT

Just a few weeks into his first stint with the U.S. Men’s National Team, things have started to come full circle for forward Dom Dwyer.

The English-born, Sporting Kansas City striker scored 19 minutes into his U.S. debut in the team’s 2-1 friendly win against Ghana on July 1. A week later, he became just the 10th player in National Team history to tally in each of his first two matches when he scored in the 50th minute of Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Panama in the opening match of the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Fresh off those two goals, Dwyer returned to familiar territory on Sunday as the U.S. MNT arrived in Tampa ahead of its second Group B match against Martinique on Wednesday (9 p.m. ET; FS1, UniMas and UDN). Though his time here was brief, he did make the most of it, playing his junior season of college soccer at the University of South Florida where the team trained on Monday morning.

“It’s really nice to be here,” he told reporters following training Monday. “It brings back a lot of good memories. It’s a really cool experience. It’s a little bit surreal. I didn’t think I would be here [with the National Team]. If you told me that six years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you.”

Having come over to the U.S. to play at Tyler Junior College in Texas, Dwyer won the National Junior College Player of the Year in 2010, leading to his transfer to USF. He tallied 16 goals in 21 matches for the Bulls the following season, putting him on the radar of Major League Soccer and Sporting KC head coach Peter Vermes, who selected the striker 16th overall in the 2012 SuperDraft.

“This was the beginning. I loved my time here, every moment,” he said crediting USF with helping him making the jump to M.L.S. “It was a tough decision to come out a year early from college. I was very tempted to stay another year. It was a lot of fun, but this is a place that brings really, really good memories.”

Now his one-time home has the potential to play backdrop for some more history Wednesday night. Already one of 10 U.S. players all-time to score in each of his first two matches, should he tally against Martinique, he would become just the third to do it in his first three.

That feat was first achieved by Alexander Rae, who scored in each of his three U.S. appearances – all friendly defeats to Mexico – in 1937. It was bested 68 years later by Eddie Johnson, who tallied six goals across his first four MNT appearances during World Cup Qualifying in 2004 and 2005.

Though focused on helping the USA improve its performance from the Panama match, it stands to reason that if Dwyer keeps scoring, the team will find success. 

Asked Monday how he’s feeling about three goals in as many U.S. games, he joked, “That would be nice, wouldn’t it? Or maybe four.” 

10 U.S. MNT Players to Score in Their First Two Caps


First CapFirst Goal

Second CapSecond Goal

Charles Ellis

3-2 W at Sweden (Aug. 20, 1916)

1-1 D at Norway (Sept. 3, 1916)

Rudolf Kuntner

2-11 L vs. Argentina (May 30, 1928)+

3-3 D at Poland (June 10, 1928)

Bert Patenaude

3-0 W vs. Belgium (July 13, 1930)**

3-0 W vs. Paraguay (July 17, 1930)**

Aldo Donelli

4-2 W vs. Mexico (May 24, 1934)*

1-7 L at Italy (May 27, 1934)*

John McEwan

2-7 L at Mexico (Sept. 12, 1937)

3-7 L at Mexico (Sept. 19, 1937)

Alexander Rae

2-7 L at Mexico (Sept. 12, 1937)

3-7 L at Mexico (Sept. 19, 1937)

Dante Washington

2-2 D vs. Mexico (March 12, 1991)^

2-0 W vs. Canada (March 16, 1991)^

Eddie Johnson

2-0 W at El Salvador (Oct. 9, 2004)*

6-0 W at Panama (Oct. 13, 2004)*

Paul Arriola

3-1 W at Puerto Rico (May 22, 2016)

4-0 W vs. Trinidad & Tobago (Sept. 6, 2016)

Dom Dwyer

2-1 W vs. Ghana (July 1, 2017)

1-1 D vs. Panama (July 8, 2017)@

Denotes Olympic matches, * Denotes World Cup Qualifying matches, ** Denotes World Cup matches, ^ Denotes NAFC North American Championship, @ Denotes CONCACAF Gold Cup