BRIAN SCIARETTA - Monday, June 27, 2011
As the preseason begins for Birmingham City of the English Championship, one player who will be looking to impress is young American midfielder Will Packwood.
Packwood, 18, has spent the past three years with Birmingham City under an Academy deal but he has just recently signed a two year contract with the club through July 2013.
Packwood, a tall defensive midfielder at 6'2, will report to preseason with the goal of making the 2011/12 season a breakout year. He also realizes that a loan to another team is also a possibility to achieve more playing time.
"My goals for the season are to try to make a good impression on the first team staff and to get some playing time with the first team," Packwood told YA. "We now have a new manager so I will need to work hard to get into contention for a first team place. It is also possible that I will go out on loan to another club at some point during the season to get more playing experience. "
Packwood, last year saw time with both the U-18 teams and the reserve team of Birmingham City. While he is naturally a defensive midfielder, he saw time at central defense. He insists that it is not a full time positional switch to play along the backline but it is now comfortable second option for hm.
"I haven't made a switch to centre-half, although I have played there on occasion for Blues," Packwood discussed. "My best position remains the defensive centre midfield role, but given my height and the fact that my heading ability is fairly good, centre-half is a role with which I am quite comfortable."
In addition to trying to breakout this year with Birmingham City, Packwood is also seeing increased time with Unites States youth national teams after more than a year's absence.
He recently played with the U-18 national team on a trip to Portugal in May and will also likely be a part of the US U-20 national team as they begin their new cycle heading towards the 2013 World Cup in Turkey.
"I played with the U18s out in Portugal recently and really enjoyed the trip and the matches," Packwood recalled. "I hadn't had chance to play with the U.S. team since playing for the U20's at the Dallas Cup last year, so this was a great opportunity to get together with the group that will try to qualify for the 2013 U20 World Cup."
Packwood is a native of Boston but also holds a British passport through his father. The dual national is proud to represent the United States and is anxious to try to rebuild a U-20 program that is coming of a disappointing qualifying campaign in the 2011 cycle that saw the team fail to qualify for the World Cup.
"The new cycle is beginning for the U20 World Cup so I'd love to make a strong impression in any USA events I take part in," Packwood concluded. "My goal is to do everything that I can to help the team qualify for the World Cup and then to go as far in the tournament as we can."