GOAL - Ryan Tolmich
U.S. men's national team star Yunus Musah says he cannot wait to play in front of fans for the first time as a senior international as he nears his first trip to the United States since childhood.
Musah committed his future to the U.S. in March and, should he play in the upcoming Nations League, he would officially be cap-tied to the USMNT program.
As the team heads towards that Nations League trip from Europe to Denver, Musah will now have the chance to return to his place of birth in an opportunity he's relishing as he looks to fully integrate himself into the American team.
Good week of preparations ahead of the Nations league semifinals 🤙🏾 pic.twitter.com/8mxqZ9YXRF— Yunus Dimoara Musah (@yunusmusah8) May 31, 2021
"I can't wait to play in front of the fans," Musah said. "This season as well, playing my debut season without fans, that was a bit annoying. Scoring my first goal as well, that was a bit annoying, but playing for the U.S. in front of fans, that's going to be a great experience.
"I'm going to enjoy it so much. That's a lifetime experience. I haven't been back to New York since I was born, so I'm actually going to stay there after and see where I was born and see the area and try to visit some places because I haven't been back."
Originally born in New York while his Ghanian family was on vacation in the United States, Musah moved to Italy as a toddler before heading to London at the age of nine to join the Arsenal academy.
The teenager came up through the youth ranks in England before making the switch to the U.S., with Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate previously admitting that he was truly hoping to keep Musah with the program.
However, England weren't the only team that the U.S. beat to secure Musah's international future, as the Valencia midfielder admitted he had previously received interest from Ghana.
"Italy hadn't reached out before but Ghana, yeah," Musah said. "They phoned my parents before. Italy hadn't reached out, but Ghana has.
"I think it was when the season started [at Valencia]. People start seeing me in and around the first team, around that stage."
Musah recently wrapped up his first season as a professional, featuring 35 times in all competitions while also signing a new deal that keeps him with Valencia through 2026.
Additionally, Musah has appeared four times for the USMNT so far as the team heads into friendlies against Switzerland and Costa Rica with the Nations League semifinals and, potentially, finals sandwiched in the middle.
"It's been a great season to find out more about myself," he said. "In my first season in La Liga, there are so many ups and downs and you learn more about yourself on the downside like making mistakes, losing matches, being in a spot where you have to win matches, being efficient. You have to learn a lot.
"I think for my first season, to play so much, I got so much information on how I am and I'm gonna look for look take this information and take it to next season/ I've played so many games and made so many mistakes and done some good things. I'm just going to try improve and take it into next season, a better season next season, hopefully."