Date:Wednesday March 29 2006
Owls right-back Frankie Simek has been a hit with the Owls fans, and he hopes his form for Wednesday will attract scouts from the US national side to check on his progress.
It may be too late for a trip to Germany with the US 'soccer' team, but the 21-year-old hopes that he can make the progression from playing in the USA under-20s side up to the full squad.
He told Fox Soccer Channel: 'I think I would have been more available and in the eyes of coaches if I was playing in MLS. I don't know if scouts have seen me play over here. It's not a top priority now — my priority is Sheffield Wednesday. But it has always been my dream to play for my country and I have played with the under 20's.'
Major League Soccer has been on the rise since hosting the World Cup Finals in America in 1994. Coaches such as Jurgen Klinsmann have flown over and helped raise the profile - which means most players in the US national side are picked from the MLS rather than Europe.
There are a few exceptions of course, such as Landon Donovan at Bayer Leverkusen, Bobby Convey and Marcus Hahnemann at Reading, and Tim Howard at Manchester United to name but a few.
Owls fans need look no further than their own legend John Harkes to see that American players playing in Europe can break in to the US national side.
Simek has played 37 times for the Owls this season after joining on a free transfer from Arsenal. He made an immediate impact with Owls fans with his committed and determined performances in the blue and white stripes.
It's only his first full season as a pro in English football, after short loan stints with QPR and Bournemouth, and he hopes that his career in Sheffield will go from strength to strength.
He continued: 'Everyone here is under pressure to play well. You have to keep up confidence and not let your head drop. My head has dropped a bit, but you have to learn to keep playing. And I'll stay here — I've signed a three year contract. I knew it would be a tough year when I signed, but we're a young team and hopefully we'll do better next year.'
Date:Wednesday March 29 2006
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