SIEBATCHEU COMMITS TO USMNT
The U.S. men's national team just boosted its ranks in the striker pool as Theoson-Jordan Siebatcheu has pledged his international future to the Americans.
Siebatcheu's decision comes as he was also eligible to represent Cameroon and France. He was born in Washington, DC, but moved to France at a very young age with his family.
"Yes, I have decided," Siebatcheu said in an interview with CBS Sports
. "I made my choice a few weeks ago. I will be very happy to play for the USMNT. I am very focused right now with YB and hope to play with the national team - if that possibility is presented."
The French-American got his soccer career off the ground in France when he joined the youth academy at Stade de Reims. He would work his way up to the first team and produce his best season for the team in the 2017-2018 season when he scored 17 goals to help them win the Ligue 2 title. This performance led him to a transfer to Rennes prior to the 2018-2019 season.
Now on loan at Swiss Super League team Young Boys, Siebatcheu has seen a resurgence in his fledgling career as he has gone on to score 12 goals in all competitions for the reigning champions. His most recent performances saw put three goals past Bayer Leverkusen as they knocked the German team out of the Europa League in a 6-3 aggregate win.
There have been calls for the US to call up Siebatcheu in the past, but he spurred those opportunities as he was solely focused on establishing himself at club level. He did have a brief spell playing internationally for France at the Under-21 level in June 2017 when he played against Albania and Cameroon, scoring one goal at that time. However, with the chance to play for France's senior team out of the picture, he has now committed himself to his birth country.
"I was very young. I had just broken into the Reims team," said Siebatcheu. "With my agent (Francis Laurent), we decided that it would be best for me to stay in Europe because of the travel involved so early in my career.
"Travelling to the USA to play in friendly matches would have been tiring and the best thing was to focus on club soccer and not international at this moment. When I was called by France in the past, it was not far from the country, so not too demanding."
With his international future set, the striker who uses his Cameroonian name, Pefok, is excited about the prospects of representing the red, white and blue on the world stage.
"It is very good for the team and for the country," Siebatcheu said. "There are more and more players coming and joining big clubs like Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona. American soccer was already at a good level, but these moves can push it even higher. It is extremely positive, and I hope that it continues."
Siebatcheu could receive his first national team call-up later this month as the US will play friendlies against Northern Ireland and Jamaica. Head coach Gregg Berhalter is expected to announce the roster next week.