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What the US means to me

In a way, the timing could not be more perfect for our summer tour. The last two months have been an absolute whirlwind of events for me. Seven weeks with my teammates from the US national team, then the World Cup in Brazil and now a trip to America with my club, FC Bayern Munich. I can’t think of a better way to cap things off before the start of the new season!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to come to the US and take part in Bayern’s summer tour. Other than the training camp before the World Cup, I haven’t been back since 2011, so to see the country I was born in again and the many American fans is going to be fantastic. Aside from being born there, it’s a place I’ve always held close to my heart. My father still lives there and I talk to him every day, and I still remember the warm Tampa weather and the beautiful ocean from when I was young.

I moved to Germany early in my life but always maintained a connection with the US, whether through my family or through sports. Growing up and to this day, I still follow the NHL and NBA whenever I can. When I’m not training I try to keep up with my favorite hockey team: the Tampa Bay Lightning, even though some of their games are hard to watch in Germany with the time difference. I’ve also grown to like the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant, who is an excellent basketball player.

And of course, seeing my US national team teammates again in Portland will be very special. All the guys on the team were really great to me and welcomed me with open arms. I still keep in touch with guys like DeAndre [Yedlin] and Jozy [Altidore] after Brazil and it will be fantastic to see so many familiar faces at the MLS All-Star game.

I am also looking forward to resuming training with my teammates. I’ve had a knock on my knee and have only been able to do some light running in training since coming back from holiday. So not only am I excited to finally be able to kick the ball around but I’ll be starting the actual training with my teammates in the US! What could be better?