Baggies man excited for prestigious tournament
YOUNG Baggies defender Danny Barbir is preparing to scale new heights in his developing career – playing at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup for USA.
The 17-year-old will jet back across the pond this weekend to link up with his national team-mates for a training camp in Florida, before flying to Chile ahead of the start of the tournament which kicks off on Saturday, October 17.
The Philadelphian, who signed his first professional contract at The Hawthorns in the summer, scored a penalty in USA’s dramatic shoot-out win over Jamaica in the play-offs to help seal their place in the competition.
Barbir and the USA face Nigeria on the opening day, Croatia on October 20, before finishing their Group A campaign against hosts Chile on October 23.
Understandably, the American is itching to get started.
“I am so excited for the World Cup, it is like a dream come true for my family and I,” expressed Barbir.
“I can’t wait to play, it is going to be the pinnacle of my career so far.
“This tournament has been on my mind since the day we qualified after beating Jamaica.
“I can’t wait to meet up with the squad in Florida and then head down to Chile ahead of our first game.
“I think we can do very well, we have some fantastic players who are currently playing in Europe.
“We have one guy at Fiorentina in Italy, another at Dortmund in Germany and then myself here in England, as well as a couple who play in the Mexican League.
“We have beaten some of the best teams in the world recently in friendlies, the likes of Brazil, England and France.
“I can’t see any reason why we can’t go all the way and win the World Cup, we aren’t scared of anyone.”
The Albion centre-back is trying to force his way into the Club’s Under-21 side, who remain unbeaten this season.
Barbir admits all the travelling back and forth means he doesn’t get to showcase his ability in front of the coaching staff as much as he would like, but hopes a successful World Cup will aid his fledgling Baggies career.
He said: “I definitely think a strong performance at the tournament will help me when I get back to Albion.
“I would like to think that I am doing well here, but maybe without all the travelling I would be doing even better.
“It is hard, but I love playing for my country as well as Albion.
“I am fully aware of the privileged position that I am in and I am determined to be successful both for USA at the World Cup, and West Bromwich Albion.”
You can follow Danny’s progress throughout the tournament on our official website, wba.co.uk.
Good luck Danny, from all at West Bromwich Albion. Do us proud.