Pomykal has enjoyed a breakout season in 2019, scoring two goals and adding five assists in 17 MLS starts. The 19-year-old’s standout performances for Dallas have earned him six MLS Team of the Week inclusions so far, as well as the honor of being this year’s youngest All-Star.
Pomykal’s debut call-up from USMNT head coach Greg Berhalter comes as little surprise. The Highland Village native captained the U.S. U-20s to the quarterfinal of the FIFA World Cup this summer, earning rave reviews along the way. While not exactly unexpected, the significance of the moment wasn’t lost on Pomykal.
“This is what I grew up dreaming about,” Pomykal said. “I’m honored, happy and ready to get to work. I know I’m a young guy coming in, so to be able to learn from guys that have been doing this for a long time, see how the team works and things like that, is going to be a good experience. Especially getting to play against Mexico and Uruguay, those are two good teams so I’m looking forward to it.”
This senior call-up is yet another of a long list of firsts for Pomykal this year. The teenager has gone from a promising prospect with 265 pro minutes under his belt, to now a full U.S. international and MLS All-Star within the span of six months. With such a meteoric rise, FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez challenged his young star to remain focused despite his rapid ascension to the highest level of U.S. soccer.
“Things have moved fast, to be honest," Gonzalez said. "It’s important that he keeps working and being Paxton. We'll keep challenging him and developing him the same. Nothing should change."
"It’s great. We’re proud of him and he knows the best way to be ready for that camp is to be a great teammate this week and helping us get three points on Saturday.”
Pomykal’s his first foray into the senior national team will be eased by the presence of fellow FC Dallas Homegrowns Jesse Gonzalez and Reggie Cannon, who will also be traveling to New Jersey to meet up with USMNT following Dallas’ outing against FC Cincinnati on Saturday, August 31.
“It’ll be nice to have two familiar faces help me through and get me through the ropes,” Pomykal added. “It makes things easier to get acclimated and they can introduce me to people, show me the ropes a little bit. Having Reggie and Jesse there is good for FC Dallas as well as good for me.”
Should Pomykal see the field during this international window, his senior debut will be against top talent. The U.S. team faces rivals Mexico on Sept. 6 at MetLife stadium for the first time since its 1-0 loss in the Concacaf Gold Cup final in July, followed by a matchup against Luis Suarez’s Uruguay three days later.
Debut or not, Pomykal’s first senior national team camp caps what's been an incredible 2019 for the FC Dallas talisman.
“This (call-up) is the cherry on top,” Pomykal said. “I love playing here at FC Dallas, and I also love playing for my country. And to do that at the highest level is an honor for myself and I’m really proud of myself and accomplishing this. Thank you to everybody on the team for pushing me this year because, ultimately, playing well at the club is what prompted this.”