‘Let’s change the way the world views American football’: Yunus Musah gives a rallying cry before USA’s World Cup match against England… though he might have been lining up AGAINST USMNT if not for Gregg Berhalter
Valencia midfielder Yunus Musah believes his USA team can push the reputation of American soccer to a new level at the World Cup in Qatar.
The 19-year-old’s ambitious words come as the USMNT faces a crucial game against England. Victory would do just what Musah is looking for, but loss would leave the team on the verge of being knocked out of the tournament in the group stage.
Speaking to BBC Sport, Musah said: ‘One of our goals as a group is to change the way the world views American football. Now we have the opportunity to do it in the World Cup.
Yunus Musah is ready to show the world how good American soccer is
Musah and USA take on England in the World Cup on Friday after starting with a 1-1 draw against Wales
We are very ambitious. We want to go all the way. We are thinking game by game. Taking it that way, the next thing you know is that you are further down the competition.
‘That’s what I think we should do, even though I’ve never been to a World Cup before. Gregg (Berhalter) has played in two World Cups, he is a coach who knows and I trust him.”
Musah played for England at youth level, making 30 appearances for various teams, signing for Spanish side Valencia from English Arsenal as a 16-year-old.
In November 2020, after discussions with Berhalter, Musah chose to represent the USA at the youth level.
“I am both English and American,” Musah said. “I had a great time in England. I loved it every time, had a lot of camps, great people and everything.
Musah (left) was a youth player at Arsenal and could have become an England cap.
‘There came a point where I was playing in the first team [at Valencia] and playing in the sub-19 when I went to the national team.
‘Gregg called me and told me about the project with the United States. He told me how much he wanted me on the team and I was only 17 at the time. That a first-team coach loved me so much really helped my decision.
Musah will likely start for the US alongside Juventus’ Weston McKennie and Leeds’ team captain Tyler Adams.