BRIAN SCIARETTA - Thursday, February 3, 2011
After previously representing Canada at the youth national team levels, forward Teal Bunbury has formally filed his one-time switch with FIFA that will now permanently bind him to the United States national team.
Bunbury is a dual citizen with the US and Canada and previously represented Canada's U-20 national team in 2009 during the U20 CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers.
Last November, Bunbury announced he was going to play for the US and made his debut against South Africa in a 1-0 win.
In January, Bunbury was again invited by US head coach Bob Bradley to be part of the annual January national team camp. In the friendly against Chile to conclude that camp, Bunbury came on as second half substitute and scored the equalizing goal from the penalty spot in a 1-1 draw.
Despite still being on the books as a Canadian player, Bunbury was permitted to play with the US in these two friendlies due to their unofficial nature.
However, this switch is necessary to play for the US in an official competition such as the Gold Cup, World Cup qualifiers, or the Olympics.
Bunbury has now submitted his paperwork with FIFA for the one-time switch however it is unclear when it will be approved.
In the US national team's previous instances involving Jermaine Jones and Edgar Castillo changing associations, the process took around two to four months.
"Teal is going through the formal mechanism established by FIFA for requesting a change of association. The process is ongoing," Bunbury's agent Patrick McCabe told YA on Thursday.
If the process goes as expected, Bunbury will be eligible to play for the US in the 2011 Gold Cup this summer.