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New citizen Gressel on first USMNT call-up: I could hear how proud my grandpa was

00:50 GMT+3 22/01/2023
Gressel D.C. United 2021
Vancouver Whitecaps star Julian Gressel detailed his family's reaction to his first U.S. men's national team call-up as part of the January Camp.
  • Gressel gets first USMNT call-up
  • Received U.S. citizenship in November
  • U.S. to face Serbia and Colombia in friendlies

WHAT HAPPENED? The German-born Gressel has been in the U.S. since high school, having arrived as an exchange student before starring at Providence. He was drafted by Atlanta United in 2017 and was named Rookie of the Year that season while winning three trophies with the club over a three-year stint. He was then traded to D.C. United in 2020 and then dealt again to the Vancouver Whitecaps in July 2022.

Gressel acquired his U.S. citizenship in the fall, paving the way for him to represent the U.S. on the international level.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Ever since I first stepped foot into the U.S., I fell in love with the country," Gressell said, "and that's why it's really exciting to be able to represent the U.S. on the field in these upcoming two games.

"My family back home, they're obviously all German and all from Germany, but they're very excited. I got phone calls and I had a really, really cool conversation with my grandpa, for example, who is a huge, huge soccer fan, obviously a huge fan of mine and I could really hear how proud he was in his voice and how excited he was for me to have this opportunity that I've worked hard for and to get rewarded this way is awesome. I'm certainly going to enjoy it just as much and I'm going to try and obviously do really well."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Gressel is one of 13 uncapped players in this camp, while 11 of those 13 are joining the USMNT setup for the first time.

IN TWO PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR USMNT? The U.S. will face Serbia and Colombia in Los Angeles as part of its January Camp.