PHILADELPHIA PA (CNBNewsnet)--It's been almost a year since the U-20 World Cup has taken place, and for Philadelphia Union Homegrowns Derrick Jones and Auston Trusty, the experience of that competition brought them closer — sharing memories that will last them a lifetime.
Jones had quite the experience on his path to the U-20 World Cup, changing his citizenship to play for the United States. After petitioning FIFA into allowing him to play for the U.S., the midfielder only appeared at one U.S. Training Camp before the World Cup.
"I waited so long for FIFA to give me the opportunity to play, and I got it finally," Jones said.
Jones was lucky enough to come off the bench in the first game, replacing an injured Gedion Zelalem against Ecuador. After the first match, the midfielder appearing in the starting xi for the next three out of four matches.
One of Jones’ favorite things about the experience was playing against some of the best young players around the world. Playing with his club teammate Trusty and with other MLS players have helped the game become a little easier.
“Obviously, I was playing with Auston (Trusty), who I played with in the Union Academy. It was much easier to get on the field with him and just going out there and playing,” Jones said. “We met a lot of players from MLS that we had already played against, so it was much easier.”
According to Jones, playing under U-20 Head Coach Tab Ramos really helped the squad go far in the World Cup.
“Tab was a good player and is a very good guy, and he played the game before, so everything he taught us and helped us with every time we went into the game, we really went far.” Jones said.
Just like Jones, Trusty had fond memories of the tournament. Becoming a unit with his squad and playing with Jones made the experience all the more enjoyable.
“It was a great experience for all of us, me and Jonesy together but also the team. We grew a lot over the year, we were together as a unit, but it kind of all clicked together when we got to South Korea," Trusty said.
Trusty made headlines last year, scoring in the 84th minute against New Zealand in the Quarterfinals. That goal helped Trusty become the first Union player ever to score a goal on any World Cup level.
“It was amazing, I was hyped, I came into the game toward the end and just wanted to make an impact as fast as I could and as best as I could, and I just did my job,” Trusty said.
As the defender was able to help the United States make it to the quarterfinals, he learned valuable lessons. From the advice of the coaching staff to just getting on the pitch, Trusty just had to soak in as much knowledge as he could.
“There’s a lot of experiences, there’s too many. From Coach Tab (Ramos) and all the coaches, everyone was a part of it. You learn so much while you’re there you kind of just have to soak it all in,” he said.
Fans can come out and watch the United States Men's National Team take on Bolivia in a friendly at Talen Energy Stadium on May 28, with kick off set for 6:30 p.m. ET. Tickets for the match can be found by clicking the banner below.
source: Philadelphia Union