During MLS media day today, Dom Dwyer let it be known that he is closing in on US citizenship. Having had his green card, making him a permanent resident in the United States since 2012. Dwyer has had his green card for five years next month, making him eligible to become a US citizen. Dwyer confirmed today that his paper work is ready to be filed in February to apply for citizenship. He also confirmed that he has been in contact with US Soccer and is working with the federation on his FIFA paperwork that would allow him to represent the United States at the international level. FIFA rules require him also to be a permanent residence in the country for five years after he turns 18, which he will meet in the next month.
So the question becomes is he good enough to represent the United States at the international level? If he'd been a US citizen last year, he would have been the highest scoring American player in MLS with his 16 goals, four better than Chris Pontius, who was the highest scoring American last season. He's scored 52 goals in his MLS career, 50 in the last three seasons, the only player with more goals in that stretch is Bradley Wright-Phillips who has scored 68.
He may not be among the top tier of talent for Bruce Arena with the likes of Jozy Altidore, Bobby Wood, and a healthy Clint Dempsey, but you'd have to think he'd immediately be able to slot in that second tier with the likes of Gyasi Zardes, Jordan Morris, and Chris Wondolowski. Surely Dwyer could step in and keep Wondolowski from continuing to get call ups, or keep Alan Gordon, who received a call up for the last set of World Cup qualifiers as an injury replacement, from being called up again. Dwyer's draw back is that he's not as versatile in his positioning for the US team as some other players are. Dwyer's not shown himself to be adapt at playing the outside forward position, at least in Peter Vermes' system. Maybe in the US system he could, but he's mainly a center forward. He's shown to be a guy that will fight and scrap with the center backs for other teams usually a head taller than him.
The worry that this will bring for KC fans with his potential citizenship is another player lost to international duty. With the Gold Cup this summer, KC could be decimated by call ups, potentially losing over half of a potential starting 11. KC could lose two-thirds of their attack (Dwyer and Graham Zusi), potentially their entire starting midfield (Roger Espinoza, Benny Feilhaber, and Soni Mustivar, and potentially a center back (Matt Besler) all for the Gold Cup. It'd be a move that would certainly test Sporting KC's depth for their game against the Philadelphia Union on July 6th, two days before the US kick off in the Gold Cup.
Dwyer though certainly deserves at least a look at the national team level once his citizenship is finalized, even if it means KC has to rely on someone other than Dwyer to play center forward for a game or two as he's on national team duty.