FRISCO - The announcement of FC Dallas players receiving a call-up to the U.S. Men's National Team used to be a pleasant surprise. Now, it's to be expected.
It was announced on Sunday that Homegrown midfielder Kellyn Acosta and defender Matt Hedges would be included in the USMNT training camp ahead of three June games for the U.S., including two key World Cup Qualifiers. However, the opportunity to represent their country isn't something new for Acosta or Hedges, nor is it something that phases them.
"I know we're both very excited and grateful to get the opportunity," Acosta said. "It's a long road ahead, but I think we're ready for the challenge and ready to go out and get some minutes."
The two Dallas players left for the training camp after Sunday's match against Houston. Transitioning from playing for club to country means adapting to new teammates, formations and roles, but going through the change with a teammate adds a sense of familiarity to the process.
Hedges and Acosta were joined by FC Dallas defender Walker Zimmerman for the January USMNT camp, before Hedges was forced to leave the camp early through injury.
"We just need to be mindful and recognize the strengths and weaknesses of our teammates from here and from over there," Acosta said.
Acosta holds five caps, including two prior appearances in World Cup Qualifying matches, Hedges has made just one prior appearance for his country.
"I'm very proud to see Matt and Kellyn be a part of this project and then have the chance to go and defend their national team," Pareja said. "It's great news for the club."
Acosta was also called up and received playing time during the March USMNT camp, but he knows each call-up is a chance to display not only his growth, but the growth of his club team.
"We're one of the best teams in MLS, and its just great to see Bruce recognizes that we have some great players on our team," Acosta said. "We're ready for the international stage."