CHAD WINGER - Thursday, March 6, 2008
Gregory Mathijs/Le Soir
Dalby in a Charleroi friendly
Former US youth international Greg Dalby is on the verge of his professional debut, one that might come this weekend when Charleroi host Belgian giants Anderlecht.
"The last three games I've been in the squad," Dalby told YA about his club's recent matches. "I've been on the bench, so obviously it's a step forward."
"I'm trying to work really hard in training, focusing on how I do every day in training. Hopefully I'll make my debut pretty soon."
Dalby's Charleroi sit comfortably in the middle of the standings and provided a boost to countryman Oguchi Onyewu last weekend when they shocked then-leaders Club Brugge 2-0 - on the road, no less - to catipult Standard Liege to first place.
"It was a big win for our team - a big three points because we're lingering around midtable. We're 10th in the league right now, so playing Brugge and beating them at Brugge was a great lift for our team."
"We play Anderlecht at home in our next game so hopefully we'll take that confidence into the next game."
The 22-year old Dalby, whose exploits during the 2005 FIFA World Youth Championships in Holland caught the eye of numerous teams throughout the continent, is nevertheless on the outside looking in for Olympic qualifying, a fact that hasn't gotten lost on the defensive midfielder.
"Obviously when you're not selected for a team its disappointing," the San Diegan commented. "However, I think there are a lot of positives in that I'm moving forward with my club right now and I think all I can do is totally focus on that."
They're an awesome squad and very well coached. It'll be difficult but I have all the confidence in the world that they'll qualify."
There is always a chance I can get called up for the Olympics," Dalby concluded. "Right now my focus is totally on my club and trying to do well here and take advantage of any opportunity to get into another camp."
Dalby, who initially signed with England's Preston North End before a work permit snafu ended scuppered the deal, is approaching the final months of his initial contract with Charleroi, although the club has the option to resign the Californian for two further seasons.