DEMERIT NOT BANKING ON US SUMMONS
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Watford defender Jay DeMerit says he is hopeful of a call-up to the US National Team this month, but having never been selected before, is not holding his breath.

The center back has been conspicuous by his absence in the US set up since earning rave reviews for his Hornets performances last season and helping his team reach the Premier League with the game-winning goal in the Championship promotion playoff final.

A phone call from Watford coach Aidy Boothroyd failed to persuade Bruce Arena to take DeMerit to World Cup 2006 - but with greater Premier League exposure this season, the international retirement of Eddie Pope and injury to Cory Gibbs, his name has once more cropped up with regard to the games against Ecuador and Guatemala on the 25th and 28th of this month.

"I have always said it is out of my control," DeMerit told YA. "It is more in my mind from people asking me about it to be honest. Because I have never known otherwise, it does not really bother me, but I hope it happens and when it does I will be elated."

"All I can do is try to play the best I can for Watford, and if Mr. (Bob) Bradley wants to take notice, then that it is his duty."

The new US coach may have dropped a hint that a DeMerit call-up is on the cards when he stated in advance of the February 7th Mexico game that it would have made no sense to have picked players without international experience for that short training camp, knowing the squad will spend a week together around March's games.

It is understood that Boothroyd has now urged the new US coach to pick the 27-year old, who has never represented his country at any level, but the player himself remains self-effacing about an international recognition many have advocated.

"Some people think that I have more than merited a shout before, but it is out of my control," he said. "I could sit here and comment on it and say this or that, but I wouldn't know what to say. If I deserve it, then hopefully I will get my chance soon."

Another voice in support of the Wisconsin-born stopper is West Ham and US international defender Jonathan Spector.

"I think he has done really well here, especially in his first season in the Premiership with Watford," Spector told YA. "Whether they stay up or not, he certainly warrants a call-up for what he has achieved over here."

The roster announcement is expected from US Soccer next week.