U.S U-20 spotlight
Servania ready to take on a big role for the U.S. U-20 team in qualifying
After just completing a 10 day training stint with Bayern Munich, Brandon Servania arrived in camp with the U-20 team with a world of confidence. Now he is aiming to play a big role getting the team to Poland next year at the U-20 World Cup.
BY Brian Sciaretta PostedAS U-20 WORLD CUP qualifying is set to get underway on Thursday in Florida, the United States team has lofty expectations. But this edition of the tournament presents unique challenges in that teams will play every other day from November 1-9 for the first stage.
October 31, 2018
October 31, 2018
While all teams will have to have a heavy squad rotation, the United States is the favored team in Group A and as a result will typically have to face the best lineup from its opponents.
Brandon Servania, 19, is expected to be a very important player for the U.S. team in qualifying and the FC Dallas homegrown will likely occupy the No. 6 defensive midfield position when Ramos fields his best team.
“We're ready for the challenge,” Servania told ASN from Florida. “We have a lot of guys with a lot of depth. We know whenever anyone gets their chance, they're going to make the most of it. We all have confidence in each other. It's an honor. I am just trying to grind and work hard right now. For all of us here, we've been working our whole lives to be in these situations and are blessed to finally be here.
“With this cycle, I am mostly playing as No. 6,” he added. “At Dallas I mostly play as a No. 8 but I have been playing more No. 6 in training lately to prepare for this. I am feeling more comfortable as a No. 6 and I am just ready to get onto the field.”
On the U.S. team qualifying, Servania will likely share the middle of the field with SC Freiburg’s Alex Mendez who will occupy the No. 8 role.
“I love the way he plays as a No. 6,” Mendez said. “It's fun to have a player like him because he's always trying to find you. He's on the ball a lot and he likes to penetrate. He position at his club is more attacking so that's in his mind when he's playing as a No. 6. We just connect because we play a similar position. He knows what I like and what I don't like. I know what he's capable of doing. It just works.”
It has been a big year for Servania who signed a homegrown contract with FC Dallas in January following one season at Wake Forest University which he helped lead to a quarterfinal run in the NCAA College Cup.
As a youth player he as decorated at the FC Dallas academy where he helped lead the U-16 to the Development Academy national championship in in 2016 and the U-18 team to the Dallas Cup Super Group title in 2017.
He missed a few months earlier in the year with bilateral compartment syndrome in his calf but throughout his time away maintained regular contact with U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos who wanted to see him involved with the team. In recent months he has been able to rejoin the team at camps.
The highlight of the year so far, however, came earlier this month when he was selected to go on a 10 day training stint with Bayern Munich as part of its partnership with FC Dallas. That partnership has already landed Dallas homegrown central defender Chris Richards with a loan to the German Giants.
Unlike Richards who trains with the first team on occasion, Servania played with Bayern’s U-23 team during the training stint.
“I was mostly with the U-23s,” Servania said. “I didn't get to train with the first team although I did see them. It was an amazing experience. Getting out on the field with them was amazing. I was a little bit nervous but it proved to me that we are moving in the right direction in the United States and that we can compete with those guys. Each and every day we're getting better. Hopefully one day we'll be better. We'll see.”
In the days ahead, Servania will have a big opportunity to show he can handle a responsible role in an important international setting. If he is successful, that could pave the way for an even bigger 2019 where he could feature in a U-20 World Cup and make his debut for FC Dallas.
“Playing with them in the academy, it was my dream to sign and play for Dallas,” Servania said. “Going to college for college that one semester helped my development. It was the right decision to keep me going. Dallas was the right choice to me. I am just going to keep grinding. Hopefully coming into camps like these will help me to stay game fit for when my time comes for Dallas. Hopefully next year I will make my debut and get as many minutes as possible.”
“Every step from academy to Wake Forest to homegrown to U-20 to getting that 10 day stint with Bayern, which was amazing. I am really excited for all of this.”