BRIAN SCIARETTA - Wednesday, July 21, 2010
With the US U20 team getting ready to depart Wednesday for the 2010 Milk Cup in Northern Ireland, one of the players who will help anchor the US midfield is DC United Academy standout Conor Shanosky.
Shanosky, 18, joined DC United's academy last summer after growing up in nearby northern Virginia. As a kid he was a fan of DC United so playing for the team has always been a goal.
"I am very much enjoying my time at the club as I have been a fan of the club growing up in the area," Shanosky told YA of his club situation. "My development has been extremely good at United and I couldn't be happier with the staff and the opportunities I have had at the club."
Shanosky has been playing with United's academy but has been practicing with the first team regularly. Last month, he was called by US U20 head coach Thomas Rongen to take part in a U20 camp in San Jose.
Shanosky played very well in that camp and was singled out by Rongen as being one of the top players in camp. It was Shanosky's first time ever with a US national team and his strong performance resulted in him being named to the roster for the Milk Cup which is one of the most prestigious youth tournaments in the world.
"I was very pleased with the camp in San Jose," Shanosky recalled. "I was happy with my performance and I learned a lot from the coaching staff. Being with the U20 National team is my first experience with the national team and the play is very good. There is a lot of talent within the group of players and it is a pleasure playing with everyone."
After arriving in Northern Ireland on Thursday the US will have a few days to prepare before facing China on Monday July 26 followed by Denmark two days later. While the US is missing some top players, Shanosky feels that the US is bringing a talented group that should compete for the title.
"My expectations are high for the team at the Milk Cup," Shanosky said frankly. "It is a very big trip and I always want to win games. We have a talented group of guys and it would be great to get good results."
In addition to winning the Milk Cup, Shanosky also wants to put in a strong personal performance in Northern Ireland that will impress Rongen and hopefully put him in the team's plans moving forward towards the U-20 World Cup next year in Colombia. Landing a spot on the World Cup team is a top goal for Shanosky.
"Making the team for next year's World Cup is a very big goal for me," Shanosky discussed. "I am learning a lot as a player and I will keep putting the work in to succeed with U20 national team. I want to represent this country well at all times."
Shanosky plays in the central midfield and specializes in helping his team with possession. He also strives to play well in the defensive areas as well as in winning lose balls.
"I play centrally in the midfield as a holding mid," Shanosky said of his style of play. "I like to keep possession of the ball and help the buildup going forward. I work hard on the defensive side of the ball and I like to win as much as possible in the air."
For now, Shanosky's priorities lie with the U20 national team in Northern Ireland. Once he returns to the US, he will attempt to break into DC United first team. His long term goals revolve around success with the first team either at DC in MLS or perhaps someplace abroad.
"I want to succeed as a professional," Shanosky concluded. "It has always been my goal. I would love to succeed as a professional in the States or somewhere else."