One of the newest potential stars of the United States Men’s National team seemed to arrive out of nowhere.
Tyler Boyd’s brace against Guyana in the USMNT’s 4-0 win over Guyana in their 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup opener on Tuesday not only propelled the team to a much-needed opening win in the Gold Cup, but also propelled the 24-year-old winger suddenly into the spotlight and into Google search bars across the nation.
But, to save you some time, here are a few things to know about the Americans’ latest summer hero:
From a Kiwi to a Yankee
Tyler Boyd was born to a father from New Zealand and a mother from America, making him eligible to play for both the New Zealand national team or the United States. He lived in Southern California for a brief time before returning to New Zealand to live with his father. He started his international career as a teenager playing on the senior team with the New Zealand All-Whites in a handful of friendlies.
FIFA allows for a one-time switch for its players who are dual citizens as long as they didn’t play in any major matches – Boyd only played in a few friendlies.
After approving Boyd’s switch to the USMNT a month ago, Boyd was eligible to be selected for, and play in this summer’s Gold Cup.
He credits his mom for the switch from New Zealand to the USMNT
The one-time move from New Zealand to the United States was a relatively easy one for Boyd.
In a Q&A with ussoccer.com, Boyd had this to say about the switch:
“Basically, I have loyalty to both countries. I have a parent from each. I spent 10 years in each country and it’s like being asked to choose between your mom and your dad. But I had already represented New Zealand, and I was able to make my dad proud and he saw me do that.
“Now it’s my mom’s turn and I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for me. I’m super excited. It’s a great set-up, it’s a great opportunity for me and I’m excited to make my mom proud now. As far deciding, I can’t say I love one country more than the other, but this decision is final and I want to represent the United States.”
He plays his club soccer in Europe, in Turkey and Portugal.
You would think that after an inspiring performance like his second-half brace on Tuesday that Boyd plays for a medium or big-time club. In fact, it’s the opposite.
Boyd currently plays with Turkish Super Lig’s Ankaragücü on loan from the Portuguese side Vitória de Guimarães, who bought him in 2015. He kept Ankaragücü afloat in the Turkish top division this season, scoring six goals in 14 appearances.
He started his professional career with Melville United in New Zealand before moving on to Waikato FC, then over to Australia with the Wellington Phoenix of the Hyundai A-Leauge.
His brace included the 1,000th goal scored in USMNT history
Scoring a brace in just your second international match with your new national team is special, but when your two goals include the 1,000th goal scored in USMNT history, that’s even more special.
Boyd’s first goal of the night marked the 1,000th in the history of the national team Tuesday night.
He knew nobody upon arriving at USMNT training camp
With most national teams, all of the players know each other. This was not the case with Boyd, who knew nobody when he arrived at the USMNT. However, he’s integrated himself pretty well and, as we’ve seen early on, has performed well so far.