Friday, November 12, 2010
Perhaps no player more than Dominic Cervi stands to benefit from his call-up to the United States national team for next week's friendly versus South Africa, a fact that the Celtic goalkeeper fully acknowledges.
Cervi has spent the past year and a half languishing as the third goalkeeper for the Scottish giants seeing playing time mostly in reserve matches.
However his work has apparently not gone unnoticed by US head coach Bob Bradley who tabbed the Norman, Oklahoma native as one of his two goalkeepers for Wednesday's match against the Bafana Bafana.
When Cervi received the call that he had been selected, he explained that it could not have come at a better time in his career.
"I found out on Monday that I had been called and I could not have been happier," Cervi told YA. "It's been frustrating for me lately and what I've been going through with not playing. I've just been keeping my head down and working hard and it's nice to know that did not go unnoticed."
The hulking netminder also hopes his inclusion on Bradley's roster will open new opportunities so that he can find a new place to play on loan before the season expires.
"This really is a godsend because a call to the US national team raises my profile," continued Cervi. "It truly comes at a great time in my career. I am hoping for a loan so I can get some games and gain some experience but I just don't know what's going to happen."
Cervi will depart Glasgow on Saturday to meet up with the other members of the squad in South Africa.
The former Tulsa standout has been called to camps before with the senior team but never made it onto the field in any those previous friendlies against England, Spain and Argentina which were all more than two years ago.
The chance to be back in a national team camp and training alongside former Under-23 teammate Brad Guzan in sunny South Africa is only adding to Cervi's expectations about the trip.
"I'm looking forward to the weather!" joked Cervi. "But seriously, it's great to get experience training with the national team especially since it has been two years since my last camp. I know Brad from playing with previous national teams so I'm just really excited about the whole thing."
Cervi and the US squad will take on the 2010 World Cup hosts at Green Point Stadium in Cape Town as part of the Nelson Mandela Challenge.