CLINT WADDELL - Monday, December 5, 2011
After getting a positive first taste of international soccer in the recent Olympic team camp in Duisburg, Tyrone McCargo looks forward to continued involvement with his American teammates.
During the joint camp amongst Olympic and U20 hopefuls, the FC Nürnberg youth player suited up with the younger group of players in a pair of friendly games, the first being against the official squad from Azerbaijan which is in the middle of their qualification campaign for the 2013 U-21 European championships.
With this being his first chance to play the game on the international level, McCargo did take note of several considerable differences to his prior experience with similarly-aged players in club competition.
"It's definitely more aggressive at the international level," McCargo asserted. "It's different than playing nationally - different tempo, harder tackling. But it was a valuable experience for me and I hope that I am selected again."
He feels the diverse settings under which the various players in the US setup are honing their craft is a strength to the team, however does admit to seeing both a German and a generally broader European influence benefiting the team in the long run.
"German soccer has been really successful over the pas few years," he asserts. "You can see that in the men's team with Jürgen Klinsmann. He has gathered a lot of experience in Europe."
This influx of players having received instruction in the environments around Europe is something he sees as an important factor of boosting the performance level of the players, not only in games but also throughout the entire training and preparation process.
"Players that have trained in Germany and Europe influence how good each training session is."
McCargo currently plies his trade with the Nürnberg U19 team, however had previously spent his prior years as a youth player at their crosstown rivals Greuther Fürth, having crossed the divide of the "Franken" rivalry during the summer.
While the teams are currently playing in different levels of the German league system, the historical Franken-derby will resume in late-December when Nürnberg host Fürth in the round of 16 of the German Cup.
For McCargo, while he insists his loyalties are and have always been with Nürnberg, he has no plans to see his past and present teams clash in person.
"I'm a Nürnberg fan and have always been one," he states, adding with a grin, adding "but I'm not going to be anywhere near the stadium."