USA's Brooks Lennon (#17) has been ne of the standout players at the 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship. (Photo: Straffon Images)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica -- United States forward Brooks Lennon could have been in preseason training with Real Salt Lake, but instead he’s impressed as the Americans qualified for the FIFA U-20 World Cup on Friday.
The 19-year-old winger/forward, on loan with the MLS side from England’s Liverpool, has been impressive at 2017 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship, scoring a team-best four goals and assisting on another.
“I think I’ve contributed to this team so far in this tournament and hopefully against Honduras I can contribute more,” said Lennon. “It’s all about the team and winning games, so that’s what we did and we came here to do. I’m excited and I think we have a great group.”
With one game left to play – Sunday’s final against Honduras at the Estadio Nacional -- Lennon will miss RSL’s season opener on Saturday. He will have to make do with finding the game on television as the U.S. looks to capture its first-ever CU20 crown in 23 attempts.
“It feels unbelievable. It’s a great sense of pride to play for your country and always get called in,” Lennon expressed. “I’m just really happy to qualify for the World Cup in Korea (Republic) and that’s what we came here to do. Our main goal was to come here and win the tournament, so to play Honduras in the final is what we wanted to do. I think we’re going to go out there and give it our best and hopefully we can get the win.”
After the CONCACAF decider, Lennon will look to make an impression at the club and earn an invitation for the trip to Asia in May. Playing in a competitive international tournament should have him physically ready for the rigors of MLS play.
But Lennon has one thing he wants to accomplish first.
“It’s good to get in qualifying games like these,” he finished. “It’s high quality games and I’m excited to get back to my club, but right now I’m focused on Honduras and winning this tournament.”