While the U.S. Women’s National Team recently kicked off Olympic qualifiers, the U.S. Men’s National Team is wrapping up their January Training Camp with a friendly against Costa Rica on Saturday, February 1st. For this camp, USMNT Head Coach Gregg Berhalter has put together a young roster with an average age of 23 years and 77 days and 12 uncapped players. Among those who will earn their first appearance for the senior side is Colorado Rapids defender Sam Vines.
The 20-year-old told U.S. Soccer that he’s been “thinking of this, this camp pretty much my whole life growing up and just getting called to the national team, it means the world.” He went on to say that the camp has been a lot of hard work and it’s “good to try and get ahead of your team before preseason.”
Vines said that when he received the news about getting called up to January camp, “I was absolutely buzzing.” His parents are just as excited and will be there for the match on Saturday at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California, to cheer on their son.
While this is his first senior team call-up, Vines is no stranger to the U.S. National Team—he’s been called up to the U.S. Youth National Team 23 times. “It’s obviously a high level at the 23s as well, but this is another step up. We’re playing with older guys, bigger guys, everyone throughout the league, so it’s a good preparation. Hopefully I’ll get called in the qualifying, we’ll see. But yeah, this is good fitness-wise and just getting ready for the season, but yeah we’re excited for qualifiers,” he said.
Berhalter announced that Vines will not only be in the 18 this weekend, but will get the start.
.@ColoradoRapids Sammy Vines will be getting his first start & first cap for the @USMNT this weekend vs Costa Rica congratulations sammy !!! Thank for the video @MicheleG3 @AltitudeTV @corapidsfan @Burgundywave @RapidsAcademy @wearecosoccer @FlemingSport @CealeyGodwin pic.twitter.com/5tgqV1RcAJ— Marcelo Balboa (@marcelobalboa17) January 31, 2020
Vines is learning a lot from being around the other players, learning different systems, and meeting Berhalter and the staff. While he said it would be “amazing” if he got to play this weekend, “ultimately it’s been a good experience so whatever happens, happens.”
Vines will be the first Rapids Homegrown Player to earn a USMNT cap. The match starts at 3:55 p.m. ET and will be broadcast on ESPNNews, UniMas, and TUDN. Find a game preview and roster notes on USSoccer.com.